Spring and Mr. and Mrs. Lumbricid

 

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feed on the wrinkled dead
I push under the earth

where it is dark, restful warm,
away from cold, hard soil towards
the surface. I wait.

If water seeps down
I cannot breathe
so must burrow
to the surface.

My late wife, Mrs. Lumbricid, heard
what she thought
was rain up top,
burrowed upwards,
emerged to Mr. Merula’s
tapping claw and sharp beak.

Soon our moon
will shine.

Treebark get wet.
Soon I will
leave this old self
above to decay
and show a new self.

Earthworm moon will rise.

The Fagstab

Arm on the bar of the pub
 after
 the writer’s workshop

 I order the group’s drinks
 a girl at the bar slurs
 ‘What time is it?’

 A boy behind her, lit fag
 in hand, curves round
 the girl, slurs, ‘It’s our lass!’

 A sear of pain
 under my eye,
 he pulls the hot stub
 from the surface
 of my lower eyelid.

 I take the tray
 of drinks back
 to the group.

 “Why dint Tha lamp
 him one!” they ask

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Days As Shapes

S. K. Nicholas

pollock

It carries us through the night. The idea that there’s more than meets the eye. Life flashes on dead corneas. Random encounters on the freeway. People humour when conversation runs dry. Permanent separation. Idols fallen like leaves on a stream. The slicing and dicing of willpower. A sewing machine salesman stitches himself back together again. I’m grotesque. A mess of nerves and anxiety. Collapsing always, a waste of talent drifting among stationary vehicles on a cold January night. The moon is dead. Dead just like the rest. Safety in a writing desk. Lost at sea. Drowned beneath century old icebergs. Mothers tongue ready for the haunt. Seven circles of hell around erect nipples. Grey buildings between plump thighs. Ready for the calling. Ready for the hushing of inquisitive minds. Chambers of sickness either side of where we sleep. Worlds come and go as we figure out where we went wrong…

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The Spear Tree

witches ride this polished barkskin
while stag beetles skitter across it
babies are passed through this mother hole
rooted in three worlds of water air and fire

Limbs wear helicopters or keys full of samsara
that spin down to unlock moist earth
dog’s mercury wild garlic dog violets
coronet, brick, centre-bowed sallow

and privet hawk moth haunt these leaves
barkskin for spear for axe handles tough
hardwood that does not splinter
but burns to warn off to charcoal heat

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r Ash Wednesday

Thas gonna mucky me forehead
wi old codgers ashes what we burned
yonks since as if it could remove
our guilt and sinfulness for doing so.

As Tha finger paints a cross on me bonce
al see our ancestor crinkle and pop
Like it were fireworks and watch all
harshness and fret go up in smoke.

Al have to go mi sen a wesh afore
a sees our lass else it’ll get her
all wonderin’ an we don’t want that.
Don’t want folk pryin’. No need.

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