Sunday, August 2, 2009


Sometimes at night

I see the spirits of the trees rising up

in pointed obelisks of mist

Go to sleep, my angel, I say to myself;
I answer, Yes, I'm your angel -- and your devil, too.

Often, too, in the night sky,

just above the darker end of the city,

I see large blue-white vaporous clouds:
these are their gatherings;

memories rise up in the same way,
crescendo-like, and fall again;

these spirits meet at night
when no-one is looking up;

the obelisks become rectangular at the top

to show they have a point;

sometimes at night, I also see small upright poles
that look like miniature men
between the shops and bars lit up by a street lamp;

the tree spirits rise
like barometers of lies
and join into oblong shapes;

perhaps they funnel up to breathe the cleaner air
or they're practising for their demise

I can't hear them whispering, though,
because of the sound of wet pavement tires;

I try to listen; are they weeping?
I hope to my angel self
they're only sleeping.

Moon Orphans

The earth, it was revealed, once had three moons, the two lost moons may have crashed into the surviving moon, or been sucked into the sun, or flung out of the solar system to drift through deep space

from Findings, Harper's Magazine, August 2008

or one of the little moons may have felt neglected

and run off with the spoon

while the other decided to make her way north

to the galaxy known as Pegasus Dwarf

how beautiful the configuration of three --

the magic triad!
of wishes, pigs, and little birds,

hauntings, blind mice, circus rings;

they must have looked lovely dancing round our globe

like sad girls doing the moondance at a spherical fancy-dress ball --

a pity how they left the nest

to meld their bodies with other worlds

our orphaned satellites, lost luminous pearls.

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