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Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Toad -- by Zephirine


Lump of earth moves, becomes toad.
Toad slowly crawls the few inches to shelter,
seeming annoyed, but that’s only in my mind.
Its mind maybe full of no more than this:
“Large thing moving above, possibility of being stepped on,
evasive action recommended; slug today?”

I go to the computer, look up ‘toad’.
The common toad, bufo bufo, lives
to ten, twenty, even forty years, it says.
How many times in all that time
does a toad have to get out of our way?
Maybe in toad’s mind the calculations flicker:
“This is the one thousand and eleventh occasion
that I have moved for these tedious large objects;
nobody notices; a toad’s karma is improved
by such suffering; slug today?”


Sunday, 19 August 2007

Time -- by Mimitig


Time was
The past

Mostly memories
Some sad
Some sweet and treasured

Time then
The present

Day by day
To be relished
Hours sweet and treasured

Time now
The future

No memories
No actions
Simply hopes
Sweet and treasured


Friday, 17 August 2007

Legend -- by File


Imagine a forest the size of France, said I,
Mushrooms the size of Peter’s hands,
Tapping on the paper, somewhere over there

In Russia, September’s an auspicious month
For mushroom hunting, but
France is a big country

Can you see a line there? asked I,
She looked in vain at the bone white sheet,
We crossed that line, there were signs of mushrooms
Ahead, so that’s where we went

That’s when our maps became like that one
Open, pointless
We realized they were only ever in our heads

We used to pride ourselves on our maps
That this black brook ran into that,
That the burnt tree pointed charred fingers

About poisonous growths and
How to smell wolves

Our useless truths didn’t apply there
Was no scale, no legend, no relief
Nor trail nor appetite between those trees

Imagine a forest older than Russia, or France
Hollow somber shivers in the key of decay
Powdery gases that dance lazily

Under layers of loosely woven shrouds
Time drools, hours ooze over thorns, through moss
Secret barbed green dieing space

In that place
Time is dappled flat

Imagine a long shadow cast
Ironed, eked out
To a fetid air, thick dark first night

I can’t tell you what we feared we heard
Not human hearts, we remembered things
We’d never seen, flavours

That festered in our mouths to a fungal morning
There was no dawn, as such, no water
As pale bacteria

Walking in dread green circles,
Fatal certainty,
Back, to a night like the last again

Strangeness passed, we got sort of used to it and lost again
Doing what we should, seeing where the sun went, lighting fires
Finding food, etching the legend in an acid bath

When they found us we’d been gone for a week, said they
A week!
An x-ray

Imagine a forest the size of France, said I,
With mushrooms the size of Peters hands,
Tapping on the paper, somewhere, nowhere

She looked hard at the bone white sheet, again
As we had.

I lifted it free.
A dead map’s best


Monday, 6 August 2007

Gentle Disintegration -- by File


gently disintegrate me
softly fragment me

going to the river
washing my shirt

listening to Krishnamurti
on love

mine own shirt
born in it, alone and in a

State of Inquiry

tenderly tearing it apart with time
rinsing and sieving soap
panning with cotton
burying in the stream
season after season after season

softly collapses me

the river there
with or without
my shirt or me washing

listening to his voice of tones again
asking me how I see the colours of an evensong sky
in the water

traveling eye, on the other bank
love has no opposite

easily undoes me

a fat river shares

washing my shirt in wonder only
when he said

and what do you do when you don’t know what to do?
you do nothing, do nothing, nothing, no

my shirt ‘n me flowing
now gently

d i s I n t e g r a t i n g


Wednesday, 1 August 2007

"A Postcard from..."

Two postcards so far, completely different.... anyone else?

Prose or poem, doesn't matter, but it must be short enough to be believably written on a postcard... from somewhere.....

A Postcard from.... Gap Year -- by File

Dear Mother,

Having a great time, the dysentery has almost completely dried up but it’s very quiet after Jeff’s amputation, hope the trip back goes ok for him as the canoe looked quite old. The bungee jump was fantastic, only 52 meters so it was quite quick though I had to dangle for a long time as I hadn’t tied the rope very well. Met a really hunky lovely guy, he’s the leader of a new religion here in Timbatchti, oh sorry just realized, got to Africa last Thursday, we’re going to his camp in the mountains somewhere. Think I’m going to be here for a while, I know the political situation isn’t great but most of the fighting in the streets has stopped now and anyway we’re off into the jungle tonight. Got to go, Dongo’s going to take me to a witch doctor again about my rash, but yesterday he just hit my naked body with flowers and spat on me for an hour. Hope you’re all well.




A Postcard from... the Azure Coast -- by Zephirine


Wind rattles shutters weathered to driftwood grey
in village alleys; bougainvillea flips,
jazzy purple dancer
to a cicada beat in the rough gust of diesel and warm pine.

Indigo sea laps lazily at its own town,
ruffled by the hot breath but unconcerned,
pats white jostling boats
and licks the peopled sand and pebbles of its favourite coast.

Houses the colour of dust and time surround the courtyard
where little boys played football, quiet now,
and then the evening light
is softest, shifting, fleeting apricot behind the greying hills.