Full Moon

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Β 

This is a dark, enchanted wood.
Full moon brings more insomniacs
to scuttle in among the streaks of
shadow, clutching mouse-shaped
wooden stakes in case some bloodsucker
begins to stalk.

But we too are carnivorous.
The jewels we seek in all this veiny humus
is the meat of stories: we hunt them down
with our X-ray searches, strike,
devour them, display the bones
on our personal rock to show the world
we are well-fed.

Even the monsters have become
disappointingly surreal
nerdy trolls in dank sweatsuits
crouched in airless grottos full of
mouldering tea mugs
throwing virtual rocks
at shrieking passerby

The agitation that should flash and shuffle
outside has been caught and trapped inside the bony
cages of our chests; restless birds twitch
but their tweets never reach as far
as we would wish and the hum of wires is no
exchange for air whistling
through feathers

Connection has been rendered binary:
you and me. Things flip from tragic to hilarious
at the speed of the never-narrowing band
until we aren’t sure if we feel either in depth

Between us I’m not sure I don’t prefer
the hiss of cat or fur of bear
or even slink of snake
for in that jungle risk is not so riddlesome:
you run and pray you’re not outrun

The space we stretch and play in is compressed
to one square desk
one keypad, one unblinking frame
and in it flit phantoms of hero deeds
and bombs and tyrant tales
yet even we do not believe
half of this forest floor of thieves
that rob our time and sell us games
til we’re not sure if we are gazing out
or being watched

This window lets us see outside
but cannot let the light flood in.

Twisters

Women, we do not need
to be tornados
in order to be known.
Causing chaos, being in it
wrecks good roofs and
delays good living.
We don’t need to be
lipsticked hurricanes
sucking at the attentions
of the sighing world.
There is no calm at the centre
only tears and broken plates.

When the silt settles
on a calm shore
life can get back to work.
Seaweed and shark egg pods
freshly left in jungly
salt-streaked lines
leap at the silence hungrily
palms stretch cloudwards
fish bask in sleepy shallows
and the water can release
the breath it held when we
stormed in.

Maybe it’s the ‘man’.
He throws the rope and pulls
one end and sets us spinning.
No – we held the other end
too tightly too, tried
to whirl him in,
thinking one was not
a good enough number
to be. We
assumed we must be huge
and terrifying if we were to be
respected – aren’t the big shots,
the skyscrapers, the
powers that be?
So are the skunks.

This whirling would make
any plant strangle its own stem
and drip out all its juice.
Stop spinning.
There is no disaster that
hasn’t already happened
and been forgotten.
Don’t be the drama;
you’re too big, too good,
too beautiful for that.

Be the ocean
that feels the tug
of a twister
like a kitten
at a mother cat’s
teat.