Arid in Grey


Chattering laughter, dumb hills, cacti-trees,

Leaves now. Though cloudless nights freeze, they

Once taught speaker tawny-beard ‘look up!’

When sun would fill the glossy clay cups.

Now suited mummies crown a quarter-winner,

Yawn to plastic trays, yawn through corporate dinners,

Foreign cars are ridden wild, panting sweaty hips,

Pants stuck to seats of nomads with hairless lips.

Carrion wheel above, blinking red, blinking blue

They chomp the bits – Hittites run from God’s crew.

Ozy lays on the ground, shattered, noise from the fair.

Don’t look, you’ll catch tristitia! Don’t want more despair.


Barren is the desert of the underpass, ‘cept for

The muggers (lucky buggers) who last week tore

The ruach out a young girl, near fourteen,

Who chased viziers, wrote cankered reams

Of script to shiver thirst away, waiting for

Mitzvahs to start. Now she’s lost her heart.

Good thing that railing or we’d all top in,

‘How dreadful the sound!’ Screams echo thin.

No oasis. For drudgers up the A45,

It’s not the 90’s no more. Keep looking alive.

Keep writing your memoirs. Keep keeping the books.

Nobody cares. Nobody looks.


Forgetting about us, aren’t you? Don’t write, Larko’s ambulance shuts its doors.

No manna for us, the Cohens forgot. They’ve changed their names by now

Anyway. We get painted murals (how gay!). We get HDLs and HGVs. We beget.

And you can sit in the simmered morning light sobbing next to your uncaring spouse

Whose love has been sucked out by the dockside Charybdis. Grains of light

Will still pour from fissures in the sky. Not black, not white, no sun.

Mapless, mapless. This sand bears not our marks.


Image: David Mark via Pixabay

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