Swamp Hanging

Look here, our jury of conviction, 

He’s tossing around his blocks of mayhem

Find me in the devil’s playpen,

Riding on a blacked-out tire and 

Reduced down by the sweeping hell-flames.

Upon one too many howls that night

He’d yanked the dog, by the chain, outside 

The mouths of fires 

Pelican-wide in their drums.

A sanctuary of larvae 

Suspending under fronds. 

Mallards dipping

Duckweed on feathers.

Gnarled mouthed logs 

On the surface tension.

Look here, 

Him crouched in the stagnancy

Knees in the lily 

Like fleshy pads, 

With their veins all matted,

The white-hot crack of sulphur split me 

He prayed over the goddamn body 

He butchered the sedge, cleaving papyrus

Roped the feet, dangled it from the branches 

Doves came down to us with scrolled messages

Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, 

They scorched up, 

Scooped below our cloud,

Into our atmosphere 

Where the marsh swallowed them down

Photo by Jack Ward on Unsplash

Summer Child

A season ticks over

Severed heads of clover are exposed nerves of teeth 

Cut/ Slice/ divide/ peaches for the pies 

Sweet sunlit child 

Puke your guts up at night 

Make empty 

Feel whole 

Feel worthy

Feel warm 

Summer evaporated a stagnant pool 

She blots away colour with her rose-tinted bleach

Skin blends with the blue-pink, Barbie bedsheets 

Unstick- disconnect- pull away like snail spit

Put on ointment, Aloe Vera, for sun damaged leaves 

It’s 4-

Hugging knees back and forth 

Skin degrading off the face of an old rocking horse 

Baths for dolls, where inside, the blackest mould grows 

Stuffed bears next to beds, standing like soldiers

Clovers 

A stray Tomcat 

Sunning his spots 

Ladybugs bouncing

Under sprinklers

Showering plant pots

Photo by Ahmed Zayan on Unsplash

FROM DUSK TIL MOURN

Her red life leaking out 

On a dusky, sullen Sunday 

Slumped hanging off her sofa 

Me heaving in the door frame 

Time moving like jellyfish 

Couldn’t pass the threshold 

Her face, eyes on the inside 

Grim slackening, teeth on the outside 

And on the floor 

I heard the yawning pipes in the wall 

Windows raining condensation 

Jesus cross crooked on the door 

Swan song masked radio buzzing 

Walls alternating red and blue 

Tiny dog yipping on her lap 

White fur wet with bloody love 

Skin was blotched, mottled lilac 

Jars of the dead on the shelf 

Phantom hand felt on my shoulder 

I was breathy, he gasped 

“Take care of yourself” 

Didn’t get home ‘til dawn 

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Two headed lamb (Polycephaly)

When they slid out 

Of Mother – a double oddity 

“We”

She cleaned them over

Of green and pink slime, 

Needles of dried grass,

Amniotic sac

Their spines that entwined 

Split off into two minds 

Heaved into life 

Squinted at Mother’s eyes 

And when they collapsed 

Trembled sticky 

Til they stopped

Men took them to London 

In brown paper

Boxed them up 

She and her are enclosed 

Behind a glass case 

As Crown Jewels 

Four Amber eyes 

Hardened to life 

In imitation meadows 

Gazing at neighbours 

Of jackalope

Winged horse  

Dodo bones 

Their curled white fur 

like portrait cherubs’ oiled

Sunlight’s a halo on their alien mould 

A bell and a bow tied ‘round their neck like dolls 

Pressed together like flowers 

In bible page folds

Grass is plastic 

Light is bleaching

Dust is damning

Stains are dried in  

But their hollow stomach 

Swells to life 

Whenever a child’s eyes widen

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Earthly

Benevolent gods 

Fill the cathedrals 

with a cacophony 

Wails of sorrow 

from the lonely

The addicted 

The pessimistic

The Machiavellian 

Flocking and migrating

Back to safe havens 

A ball of clambering men

Like ants 

Stepping, clawing

Create a fleshy monument 

A vibrating, convulsing tower 

Stretching up to the ceiling 

Hundreds of desperate hands 

Smear the oil painted faces

The naked cherubs 

Crumble the holy limestone 

Murder the Virgin Mary 

Clutch her skirts 

Scratch her skin 

Tear her limb from limb

Benevolent gods 

Fill the cathedrals with inferno 

Pour gasoline into ant nests

Set human buildings on fire 

Divine barbecue 

Bursts the stained glass like balloons 

And humanity 

Has never felt so earthly

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash