Apr 17 2010
Manuscript, Five fishes
Poetry, Senryu, Tanka and Text
By Jan Oskar Hansen
Wedding in Paris
Coming out of the church after the wedding there were
smiles and cameras clicked, from the steps I could look
down into a park, a tramp was going through a bin
looking for something to eat, he found and ate what looked
like a half eaten pizza. With all the clatter going on
I slipped away, had a whisky in a bar across the road,
saw the tramp coming out of the park, my idea was to give
him some money for food, but I was self-conscious and
hated the thought of looking patronizing so I had another
Rain takes a break
Jaded by its own languor
White clouds and sunlight
Once ardour is ember
Out of the ashes flies
The bird of friendship
Dreams have always been vital they are the wings
I fly on to reach consciousness, now few dreams
appears and when one does it is about places I’ve
been to in other dreams, meeting people and seeing
nature that is interior. A landscape that is thorny
and cannot be shared with others.
It is strange to see friends that do not exist, familiar
faces forever young they are just there, but tell me
not what to do, a burden I have often have to carry
in conscious life.
My phone doesn’t ring, although it has an appealing
sound, while by the lake of wonder virtual friends
silently gather and wordlessly say, “while are you going
to be our real friend? But I will not leave before I feel
the joy of embracing you again as you stroke my lost
hair and tell me you still love me dearly.
Dr. Congo and I.
I’m fading away the mirror is fuzzy like it is
steamed up mirror although I’m not having
a bath. I’ve polished the mirror, but it’s still
fuzzy. My face is vanishing into galaxy.
Should an astronomer see my face in his
telescope, he will say it is too small to be
a planet, like poor Pluto, and no one will
know my eyes are made of diamonds.
I have a heart of gold and my body is full of
costly minerals; had the men of business
known this Dr. Congo would still be a calm
backwater producing yellow bananas
Behind my cottage there was an olive grove
someone came knocked down the trees for
a better view, but it wasn’t true they built
four thousand dwellings instead and called
it a security zone. And then they built a wall
so I can’t see my lost olive grove.
The world agree with me this is all wrong,
but tells me I, for the sake of peace, must
understand and give way. I have understood
for sixty years and given way so many times,
and I know now I made a mistake to let their
cattle graze on our common land
The Problem of Europe.
Christianity is a rising mist I normally do not bother to
think about, I dislike all religions they are fairytales
that demands to be taken seriously.
The worship of Jesus could have been a friendly affair
bewildered vicars talking about peace and thanking
the ladies for the beautiful flowers.
Until one remembers the Bush and Blair two knights
who wedges war against Islam by invading Iraq and
fight a religion all good Christians and Hebrews detest.
So if you thought religious wars were of the past
you’re wrong the western occupiers of Palestine are
but a religious war. Israel is a European enclave.
In Europe Islam is a strong, demanding alien force
that we must not give in to, but nevertheless we must
respect their discipline, devotion and morality.
Should the good people of Europe find I slam a better
and more fulfilling religion than our Christianity, it is
because our culture is spent and insipid.
The sea is turquoise ships are white as
summer clouds. On the dock headless
dolphins lie side by side, there is music
in the air. Children have fun slide on
slimy gore. Shouting sellers and buyers
listen to the cacophony of humanity
bless this day…this moment, God is good
here is food for all.
In Pakistan bombs fall as rain and artillery
shells whizz through the air, burning buildings
and dead children, all this happens as I sit
listening to a program about abortion.
It strikes me those who are ant- abortionists
often are for capital punishment and don’t
dither long when strafing tiny villages or
detonating car bombs in a market town.
The ship officer and the Lady
As I waited for my ship to dock at the onion pier,
a clerk came and handed me a bag of garlic for
the ship, I told him I had not ordered any and
showed him my three silver rings on my uniform.
He smirked and said I must have borrowed it to
impress the gullible, I shrank inside the uniform
and could not see my hands and feet.
Met a lady who was waiting for the ship too, she
was the wife of the chief engineer, and together
we strolled to the end of the dock, where
I resentfully threw the bag of garlic into the sea
where it swelled, became a life boat that slowly
drifted away. Back at the spot where the ship was
supposed to dock we’re told the ship had come
and gone. The lady sat on a pollard crying, took
her wedding ring off and threw it into the water,
I, who had taken Lasix 40, peed into the same sea
and its water turned pink. “Truly, this man is
a saint someone whispered”. Confident again
I swelled in the uniform and could see my hands
and feet . The clerk asked forgiveness and kissed
the onyx ring on my left index finger and gave me
another bag of garlic.
The Vanishing Voice
October in Gaza is still warm but evenings are
cooling and days are shorter, few birds sit on
shell damaged trees, and the airspace above us
is often filled with helicopter clatter.
So much have been destroyed, ruble and dust
winter will be cold for many, and our hearts
hardens we fear for the children who play war
games amongst ruins.
Our leaders are hard men, but we voted for
them since our former leaders were corrupt.
We long for a sovereign nation called Palestine,
But most of all we long for lasting peace.
Mighty Amazon flood
flows strongly towards the sea,
pauses by the delta
but now it is all too late;
reduced to melancholy.
Sweet water blending with salt sea
and history is forgotten
Lack of Rain
As evening began to fall heavy clouds gathered,
“rain tomorrow,” meteorologist said. A nice girl
about twenty five and dressed in a red suit.
So the clouds will be hanging around blocking out
stars till next day when the girl tells the rain to
turn into gentle drizzle.
Heavy fighting in Pakistan, didn’t see any rain
but billows of black oily smoke and fearful people
trying to escape and a tough talking general.
When dawn broke it was sunny but quite chilly,
Village dogs sat facing eastward our met girl was
getting married and wanted a dry honeymoon.
I wonder why quiet evenings are not enough
the thinking will not slow down or make sense.
calming effect, the wine, but it is always too
much and ideas drown in ruby.
Must hurry catch them before they lose all
meaning and giggle into banalities. The night
waits for me to articulate the mystery of art.
But I have to nail down words and they are
always paler than those on my mind and once
again I have given births to ugly ducklings; but
they are mine and I will not send them down
the abyss of delete hell, well, not yet. I will wait
and see if they can learn to walk unaided, or
used them to light the fire in the evening.
The bull by the gate
Declined to enter the ring
Or did it know the ending?
Its own death in the afternoon?
On a blank bland wall
Lit up by restless street light
When absorbed lovers walk past
And cast gigantic shadows
When she kissed me
I was octopus’s victim
Bloodless, my body
Floats helplessly in the tide
Will I reach Saragossa’s strand?
A black cat wears a fixed smile watches
as a door-less express train runs into
a tunnel where damp concrete and water
drip from the ceiling.
It is very cold the cat wears a silk scarf
and its best friend is a tame shark, that
lives in a pond and is cold too, starves
also since it bit off its feeder’s hand.
We, the smart people avoid door-less
trains we fly instead and, like donkeys,
suffer in silence the indignity of airports,
where stars are twinkling cell phones.
The black cat meows it sits in a shoe
made of tiger shark leather, feels comfy
since it is raining outside, also a tad sad
the shark used to be its best friend.
An Alexandrian Housewife
The woman of Alexandria wears a black chador which
mercifully hides a bony body, lines up outside a bakery,
she was walked ten miles to buy bread for the day.
Her body could have fitted a Dior creation snugly, but
she didn’t know that as she hasted home to feed her
children. She had been to the fruit market too where
rib cage showing mules with open sores stoically wait,
their starvation has lasted so long that they are no longer
hungry but eat when fed. A rich, elderly English woman
who has never felt the pang of hunger, tells the mule
drivers off for not taking care of their beasts and put
salve on animals infected sores. The woman, in black
chador, is blind to this, empathy for animal suffering is
for the wealthy, those with time to care.
A Man’s Alexandria
A woman came into the living room looking sideways
she brought ice cold beer and snacks. Alexandria, this
was a modern household, his wife didn’t wear a veil.
I heard voices from the kitchen, his four daughters,
but I never saw them and that was ok, I don’t know
how to talk to children and when we left his flat they
had all disappeared into dark corners and my Egyptian
friend, a shipping clerk, shouted orders to the unseen.
Nightclub and belly dancing and he soon wandered off
with one of them, and that was ok all bills had been
paid, and I had been his cover. Walked onboard alone
and packs of dogs let me pass in peace. Strange man
the shipping clerk, unhappy too he had no sons and
that made him very sad.
The Alexandrian Dog
It took long time unlading our cargo of grain each bag
was named “A gift from the people of USA,” and had
to be re-bagged. And as the USA bags were of good
quality the longshoremen took them home.
Alexandria was not teetotal and every night I walked
to a dockside café and drank cold beer. followed by
a big dog that had got the idea it was protecting me,
and the guards at the gate left it alone.
Going back to the ship, a bit unsteady now it led
the way keeping other dogs and people at bay, and
by the gangway I fed it and the cur ate without haste;
but alas all good things end.
The pilot came we sailed a howling dog by the dock
it had lost a friend and a daily meal, yes the world is
unfair, we’re both victims of a world where we had no
say; it feels good to be loved even if it is by a dog.
An Alexandrian Fly
Enormous flies flew along Alexandria’s docks
better not open a porthole even in the heat.
they were like clouds of shimmering dark fear
not at all what a poet would care to write about,
not like sweet butterflies in a romantic glade.
But one day a bluebottle landed on my nose and
looked at me with eyes that held intellectual
thoughts; it spoke to me, saw its jaws move,
an appeal to me to understand its loveless plight,
and I said to the fly before my nasal vibration
scared it away, “all you have to do is not to pee in
my coffee, crap on corn flakes and I will not swat
you.” The fly took offence and said; “I rather eat
dog vomit before eating off your plate.”
Cars are a pollutant
But joblessness is more fraught
Buy a new motor
Help workers and business
The environment can wait.
Tanka (New Alliances)
Talibans are friendly
Only want to protect their land
We understand that now
They are our new partners
Keep other terrorists at bay
French women are free, well-educated and elegant,
but spend much time to attract men, easy of virtue
yet frantically look to get married to a well situated man
who can free them of their distressing liberation.
They will intellectualize their misery, see themselves
as a Sagan melancholic, yet yarning to be middle class
housewives worrying about the price of garlic, meet
other wives and talk endlessly about equality.
The month of October in upper Algarve
but with cooling evenings, and sunlight
begins to fade earlier every day.
Sky is still blue, if a shade paler than
yesterday’s and has white, whispery
strands of clouds near its horizon.
Windless, this day birds on the roof have
flown for a short break in Africa but will
be back in March to start a family.
The man from the forest has delivered
winter wood, I gave him a whisky and
and wrote him a check.
So I’m ready for winter to sit by the fire
and read a novel, but I secretly hope
this day will stretch well to November.
Lonely is the Famous
Once I met Cliff Richard, a sweet little man,
came into the newsagent’s and bought
a paper- broadsheet- perhaps that makes
him an intellectual; what do I know.
He nodded my way, smiled; mind he smiled
to everyone, he is a professional showman
for him smiling comes easy.
He had plenty of hair, slim, no unsightly beer
belly, like me, and I was quite envious till
I noticed the cape of loneliness he wore,
wished I could help moderate the desolation
that dulled his eyes when he briefly let his
guard down. Poor Cliff sits alone at home, sips
his own wine and dreams of happy holidays.
Tanka (The Wine)
Opened the curtains
Dawn’s light got stuck in my eyes
Furniture became the foe
Slept on the carpet till noon
Dark starless night sky, a sliver of moon
golden scythe mowing down the old
harvest time, forgot to close windows
chill settles in ancient lungs, evil coughs.
Church bells toll the day is hot and gives
nothing away, the old priest is on holiday
the locum is clumsy, hasn’t had a bath for
days murmur of discontent.
The cleric sweats there is smell of booze,
one church’s rejects? They do take care of
their own. This isn’t swine flu nothing to
report, just old people dying as they must.
Waiting for Rain.
Most days on my way to the café or to the grocer,
I walk past an old man who sits in the garden, on
a sofa that has lost its place in the living room where
It once had been an object of pride for a newlywed
Couple, and placed under an oak that was blind to
such details. I often stop and talk to him, he can’t
remember me from one day to the next and tells me
about his parents it’s like they are still alive, and how
wonderful life was in the old days.
He isn’t here today, the mantle he wrapped around
his bony shoulders when there was a chill in the air,
is flung carelessly on the sofa, a zephyr whispers he
will not be back.“ Will I be that old? I ask the fading
sun. I sit on an old sofa on the terrace, scan the sky
a blanker wrapped around my shoulders to keep out
the chill, here in the vale where I was born and my
parents lived before me. We wait for September rain
and remember how wonderful life used to be.
Christianity appears tepid, usually do not think about its
lack of centre as I dislike all religions they ate fairytales
that demands to be taken seriously. Christianity is seen
as funny, bewildered vicars thanking ladies for the fine
flowers they have decorated the church with, unaware
they desired by the ladies, till one remembers Blair and
Bush, they invaded Iraq not for oil alone but to prove that
their god was more powerful than Allah.
The Christians have for hundreds of years fought in every
corner of the world and foisted their brutal religion upon
the innocent even up to this very day. The occupiers of
Palestine’s land belong to the western conquering culture
and they will be the biggest losers when the weakness of
of our shallow culture is exposed and millions of Europeans
flock to Islam that demands thrift, morality and honesty.
Our culture is rotten, only Islam can save our souls now.
Her kiss tasted of iron railing a frost bitten dawn…. My lips bled.
Her eyes were frozen stars in a deadly
galaxy of tranquility.
A beauty flawless.
Her body…unbending, unwilling, an ice maiden in a winter forest.
Her blue lips had spots of cardinal crystal,
futile my attempt of resurrection.
My love I laid by her feet, struck a match in the vast night of silence
Ash and ember …I’m free.
In the glade, amongst roses of gold,
my new love waited…hand in hand
we walked to where the day begins
You are the long evening, the deepest night.
Sweet dawn you are not, in your embrace I’m not reborn
the future is bleak.
I know well that a night spent with you gives birth to
A promise not to seek you won’t help,
for I love you more than life itself.
The blue hour casts long shadows and I can’t resist its
Our lair is not feathers of tenderness,
but thorns of demanding ferocity.
A pact we made in a church, which reeked
of burnt wicks, desiccated roses and redolence of death.
The name of our love is …. Agony, we
can’t but stop clawing each other asunder.
August night is an abyss hotter than the day
and the wind that blows was born in hell.
From open windows and their dark interiors
the primal scream of lovemaking,
wriggling bodies trying to produce a child
that like them soon will die, but first it has to
go to the ritual called love, which is but a primitive
urge to copulate the planting of a seed before
sinking back underground, spent, forgotten in
mass graves of boredom, decorated with flowers
that radiates deaths to come.
The Tasmanian tiger howls to the moon and
forever vanishes into an ancient forest while werewolves
sway to a Mexican dirge.
Snoozes on the graveyard’s lawn
But leaves at sunset
The carob tree’s fruit
Strong elongated and black
As cotton pickers hands
On a vacant beach
A bottle of suntan oil
Pollutes the sand
As a lone street lamp
Sways in wind and winter rain
A drunk, staggers home
I was falling through air so dense I couldn’t see a thing, opened up
my big, black umbrella and descended in an orderly fashion.
a scythe of a moon gave enough light so I could see the coastline
and the dark menacing sea just waiting to fill my lungs with water.
By manipulating the umbrella’s ribs I landed safely on the beach,
folded the collapsible and got away as foam of horrid sea tried to
drag me under. To get home I had to walk through a mono cultural
nightmare of pop music, endless Fado and orange trees that bore
nothing but yellow fruit no one bothered to pick since the land was
drowning in sticky juice and no gin, and anyway, supermarkets sold
virtual orangeade. I was walking uphill now, downhill too, but
mostly uphill. From a hilltop I could see my cottage; noticed the yard
light was still on and heard the desultory din of an airplane Circling
around looking for a lost passenger.
Dr Congo and I.
I’m fading away the bathroom mirror is fuzzy, like it’s steamed up,
although I have not having a shower –It is still two month before
Christmas- I have polished, the mirror, but it is still opaque.
My face is like an ancient object disappearing into the far galaxy.
Should an astronomer see me in his dreamy telescope, he will say
it is too small to be a proper planet, and like unfortunate Pluto be
downgraded to Just a big rock drifting about with nothing to do.
And no one will know that my eyes are made of diamonds that I have
a heart of gold and mineral enough in my body, had men of business
known they would left Congo alone to be a sleepy backwater, which
produced big, tasty bananas and milky coconuts
Every morning an old man, with a jute
sack slung over his bent back,
leaves his cottage.
His mother’s ancient shadow sits by
the fire keeps ember alive. She is older
than the oldest olive tree in the grove.
She came here when the earth was new,
stars not yet born and the moon was
a pale outline on black canvas.
Her son is gathering roses’ dream
and bird songs in the outer field to sustain
her in a life of perpetuity.
The is a mannequin in the dark corner
in the hall, shows off a swimsuit 1955
style. She is beautiful in her own eyes
that are made of sea green glass.
Dust on lips doesn’t care, not the sultry
type show no interest in flirtation, but
spook guests. When they have gone she
secretly smiles and is forever 1955.
3 Tanka (s)
For those who are dead
The planet doesn’t exist
And never did
Must we for that reason think
Life is a lone planet’s dream?
Writers and poets
Think they can be immortal
By ink and pen
But everything ever written
Will rot as autumn leaves do.
Heat cracks the phone pole
Lost voices seeps down as tears
But dries in the sun
White streaks of intense sorrow
A lover’s words go unheard.
The lake we used to swim in was manmade,
Not a big lake consisting mostly of rainwater
Insipid, it had no under current or anything
mysterious in its lack of profundity.
In May and June the tarn was quite blue, but
as summer lasted and little rain fell, it turned
muddy and by fall it was as brown as leaves
on almond trees.
May is a good month for love, Trine and I
Used to sit by the lakes shore and talk about
Her future which didn’t seem to include me
And I had to struggle to contain my rage.
Trine disappeared one day, it was assumed
she had taken the midnight train, winters with
little rain followed and the lake turned to dust
and became a landfill for our growing town.
Lost in Athens
August in Athens is confusing, the heat and so much pollution
I had spent the night sitting on a park bench looking at a white
wall lit up by moonlight, waiting for a movie to start.
Forenoon staggered into a church, joined a queue, a bearded
priest was handing out bags of yesterday’s cakes.
The elderly lady behind me got none she had been in the line
three times and had been recognized, I gave her my bag.
Grateful she ate the cakes, blew up the paper bag and banged
it against a tree; and as the bag broke it sounded like a pistol
shot and we were surrounded by an anti terrorist squad.
The lady was arrested she had going around blowing up paper
bags all over town, but I got off with a warning.
In the deep shadow in the park I found a grotto, walked in and
saw a baby Jesus in a crib he looked like a sleeping angel, one
as painted by Caravaggio. The painted Jesus opened up his eyes
smiled like a street urchin selling himself to a pederast, and
began masturbating. Shocked I took a step back and collided
with two nuns who laughed hysterically and I fled this place of
religious perversity. Came to a stable that had been converted
into a bar, own by a woman who looked like a horse, she was
a pony who had fled a Russian circus, we hit it off I have always
been fond of horses they, as Alice Walker says, make the landscape
more beautiful. I drank ouzo she ate hay and at midnight she
shut shop and together we rode through the summer night.
A Café in Jerusalem
Salt beef and onion
the Wailing Wall.
The waiter, a scientist
I didn’t dare to
leave a tip.
behind thick lenses
The burden of my
heavily on my mind.
the chicken soup
I shan’t return
Is a sovereign state.
When love Strikes
It was a one side love story naturally it pleased her to be adored,
but was not me she longed for. I sensed in her smile and in her
sighs something I was not a part of, I ignored that and the subtle
Smile and shine in her when she mentioned his name.
August moon shone on the marina, he was dressed in a blazer with
gold buttons. A captain’s cap and white trouser. Dashing he was
asked me if he could dance with her. They danced forever and I saw
how happy she was. There was plenty to drink and eat and fairy light
I got quite dizzy and when dawn arrived I sat alone on a pollard and
Saw morning sun dance on calm water.
A long walk home I thought both of them had been dishonest and
my anger and resentment swelled I thought of revenge, but then
I remembered her happiness and abandonment when in his arms;
so I had to let go while waiting for another bus at the stop of love.
As quiet rain fall
In a pond ringed by quartz
A modest swan swam.
A pale human swan
Love poems and vitamin pills
Sighs under eiderdown
A moody sawn
On the calm river Avon
Wants to be a tern
In Bay of Bombay
Becalmed a schooner sways
Like a wingless tern
(tern is also a three masted schooner)
Tried brother’s sling shot hit a white dove, which
fell to frozen ground and broke a wing.
Our neighbour came out, killed the bird and took
it away. Mother said he ate it. My sister said that
I had shot an angel in disguise and to atone for my
sin had to give her my chewing gum I used to soak
overnight in sugar water. I have often wondered
what punishment God has in store for the man who
ate an angel.
A Little Jazz Music…
In the August night’s heat a lone star shone bright enough
to light up deep blue velvet.
A band played classic jazz while Luna,
a shade bashful, danced behind
the local church’s spire.
A black man’s shadow on a white wall, played the vibraphone,
while other faints
played, double bass and guitar.
Took the music home, it kept me awake till dawn…..
then I let it go and join the vanishing star
A blue rowboat lies on its side like a beached
little whale, its bottom had just been tarred
its aroma mingles with the ozone of the sea.
When the tide comes back in the rowboat will
float again and look refreshed.
Seen from the wooden pier the sea is emerald
yet crystal clear, small crabs and tiny fish feed
in the shallow, and as the sea calmly inhale and
exhale pebbles softly fizz.
The sky is the sea’s lover, they are doomed to
never embrace, no one around this morning,
the sea pulls me closer- captivating- it is hard
to resist not to be absorbed by its beauty and
and end up becoming its prey.
A swan swam in a pond, a lapdog came
stood by the shore and annoyingly barked,
irksome dog. The swan, fearless of dogs, came
grabbed it by the scruff of its neck, pulled it
under water and drowned the vexing animal.
Belly up the dog floats screaming women
unconcerned the swan swims, in peace, while
the park’s management thinks of that to do;
for the barking dog belonged to the wife of
the mayor of the town.
The business of Art
There are no woods, no trees, the landscape is flat
and few twigs are to be found to lit the fire, and
people are cold in a house built for hot summers,
as we all forget who cold winters can be. I write this
while waiting for my wife to put her face on.
A mystery to me, her face is beautiful as it is, but
I’m careful not to have any opinion on the subject.
art is an odd thing; I have paintings on walls bought
at car boot sales and shops that sell used things,
because I liked them, someone said they are worth
a lot but since I’m not selling they are only worth
what I paid for them.
The Parisian Tower
I have seen the Eiffel tower in many movies in paintings
and printed on postcards, Last year I saw from a barge
on the Seine, late at night and to dance music.
The tower looked like an aging demimonde surrounded
by impotent dukes. We’re standing there on the barge’s
deck drinks, most of the guests were French, pride in
eyes, I lifted my glass to the old tart and wondered how
much she was worth as scrap metal.
Elegant as the tower built as an elegant monument to
an industrial future which should bring prosperity to us.
What happened to the men who welded the pieces of
Iron together? And where were they on the day of
inauguration? Sidelines by the posh people in nice outfit
feathers and boa; yet the workers were proud of their
achievement too I think, so future relation could one day
say: ” My grandfather was one of the men who built her,”
The pitiable lover
On an impulse I went to see my daughter who lives in a hilly old
town up north with cobblestone streets that, are slippery when
It rains. My ex girlfriend walked in- she’s an unfinished love story-
she was suntanned and beautiful – holidaying on the Algarve-
but she had been drinking and wanted to drink some more and
abruptly left, no she didn’t see me standing there in a corner, half
hoping but not wishing, she would see me. Later that evening,
my daughter has many noisy children and a taciturn husband,
I booked into a small hotel and could hear her melodious, if tipsy
laugher in the bar. I turned out she had a room next to me and
I had to turn the volume up to avoid hearing her orgasmic screams.
Met her in the breakfast room next morning, her casual lover had
gone, she appeared glad to see me. We chatted about old days,
held hands and her eyes were sea green. We made love in my bed,
she was warm and giving as always, tremor in her hands, she drank
some whisky and fell asleep in my arms.
3 Senryu (s)
Morning of sorrow
Green lawn had softly sobbed
Kind sun dried its tears.
Pendulum of thoughts
Crazily swayed on my mind
Rise or stay in bed?
The bull by the portal
Refused to enter the ring
It feared open spaces.
Some people have problems understanding
their ancestors were apes. They feel somehow
belittled not being unique, not created and
evolved like any other life-form.
Orangutan is my favourite great, great
something ancestor, it slowly swing from tree
to tree mind its own business looks cute and
doesn’t dream of conquering the world.
Jesus, I’m sure, is the result of a long evolution,
Up from the sea, shimming up a tree for safety,
Down again walking about on two strong legs;
And I ask : “ is god a dignified orangutan?
Looking out the day was dazzling with deep shadows
in corners and under dead street lamps.
Reticent lips exploded, gave birth to a scream which
shattered the forenoon, only white heat remained.
Window glass dripped, became a petrified lake where
fish eyes glared as the day was pushed down the abyss
of night. Black, shiny boots trampled all to fragments,
but the fiend’s eye was forever glued to the inside of
Franc is More Than Paris
This dark, silent and unfriendly provincial French town,
only a pizza parlour, open casting an abject light into
an empty street. It was run by an unshaven man who
looked like a refugee from Kosovo, who would claim
when caught and sent to Haag that he was only obeying
orders. Everything here was made of plastic table and
chairs that had once been white now looked unwashed
grey liked they were cleaned by the same filthy rag
every morning. Inside the hazy glass counter, lukewarm
pieces of pizza, I had two and washed them down with
soft drink from a green can that had pictures of surfers on.
Finished the meal, the man looked at me as to say:” Are
you still here?” I Left. Turned and looked back into dusty
windows and thought, if this is hell I better start praying.
Blue eyed prayers drips from
pale lips set in a young nun’s
Restless feet on stone floors,
every candle becomes a
Over the tall walls she doesn’t
try to escape, faithful as she is
to her abstract lover.
When desire leaves her and
her steps rings heavy in the hall
she is mother superior
Death of a Princess
Transparent, on top of a knoll
she stood the most famous woman
in the western world.
She tried to get down, could not
addicted to fame she had become.
Lightning struck, a torn newspaper
Ten million flowers sacrificed.
Her brother built her a shrine, in
the middle of a man-made lake,
pay the entrance fee and you just
might, on a clear day, see her shadow
walk on water.
Black is white, yellow is green, war is peace
and everything is the truth when spoken from
an auto cue by a man who should receive and
Oscar for elegant sincerity about the war in
Afghanistan. A conflict he will expand and will
keep fighting till he loses and declares a victory.
a lake of blood, a dead sea of suffering, will
the west ever be forgiven for trespassing into
the business of the Middle East”? In the end,
although they don’t know it yet. Israel, this
western transplant, will be the big loser for not
taking root and adapting to an eastern mindset
After surgery my son came, visiting
he had brought a dark suit with him,
hung it in my wardrobe, said he had
brought it along in case we went to
a party. A fortnight later he flew home
but left his suit behind so he doesn’t
has to take one next time he comes
Closer and closer they came,
old women with faces made of lava
and volcano stinking gobs,
bodies of soil in years of severe
drought; dead oasis simmered
between thin thighs and halos of
They slowly stomped while ancient dust
covered their bird clawed feet.
Soon you will be as us, they chanted
as I turned and fled, stumbled into Indifferent
time and drowned in a cascade of ages
A raw strong body arose from the bath tub,
soapsuds fondled gleaming thighs
Fire in the hearth hissed and painted her
body maroon, but only the window saw
her beauty’s hunger.
On stony steps a pail of frost slowly dissolves,
an ember of love softens the night;
tender is her longings.
Live next door to a street lamp, full moon every night .
on an enormous heavenly canvas, a lone star shines.
The rest have turned their back on Earth and light up
a galaxy that’s none of o my concern, when I watch
ads for Martini Bianca on TV. Fine by me I don’t need
to be smart in a bar, but I do pity the star, it must be
cold up there. I Wave, it twinkles and fire flies dance.
Rain that fell yesterday
Has run into creeks and streams
Roads throw up dust
The river is stony and dry
Where is the missing plug?
My aim is modest
Driver of a ten ton truck
A king of the road
Loudly blare, scare you rigid
Get out of my way amateur.
Is love forever?
1946 my dad was coming home from the war he had been in the merchant navy
for six years. I could not remember him; mother had a photo of him in uniform,
he looked heroic; kids at school all had a father and now I had one too and mine
was a hero. When he came he didn’t see me, shy I sat in the corner that wasn’t lit
up by the lamp; when he did see me he asked mother who I was, told him, but
he turned his back to me and made fuzz of my siblings, those he remembered.
He drank from a bottle and sang rude songs, mother told him to leave, and he did
but slammed the door, mother cried but he left chocolate bars behind that had
pictures inside the wrappers of famous film stars of the day. War killed my dad
slowly he had seen men die by a burning sea. I only knew that after his died.
Winter is not kind to homeless people. When kids at school asked about my dad
I always told them that he had died at sea rescuing people from a burning ship.
For years mother spoke badly about my dad but when she lie dying she told me
he was the only man she had ever loved
On a slope that dropped right into the sea, a village clawed itself to
the slant, stormy yes, but a place of sunlight and moist green grass.
That had swells like the cruel sea deep below. Much rain one year,
mudslide; only a few survivors, one wonders why people settle at
impossible places. There are goats here, breeding as nothing have
happened, although from time to time a lively kid falls into the sea.
People, back to the nature brigade, are visiting, a helipad so they can
leave when the going gets rough and marvel by the sight of primitive
cottages that look more like caves than houses. The dwellers of yore
lived on seagulls brothers slept with sisters, the place stank of idiocy
and sin, but nature can be kind at times especially if you’re a goat.
I like supermarkets, not the big ones where you have to walk
a mile to pick up a bottle of wine, but the ordinary ones serving
the local people. Old fashioned dirty little grocery stores are on
the way out, they reminded me of my childhood where we paid
once a week and always more than we thought we had bought.
But there was this woman, subbing feet and baseball cap, meek
yet pushy asking me if she could get before me in the queue
because she only had a few items, I told her to go away, it was
her cringing nature went so, on my nerves, just now that young
women are free, open faced and friendly.
Always at the checkout, switched to another supermarket just
to avoid hitting her over the head with a frozen leg of lamb and
be arrested for cruelty to woman. It is not her fault but she
reminds me of the downtrodden women of the past who made
themselves look meek, yet were dishonest and pushy as hell.