THE ALTERNATIVE

pot

We followed the footsteps of the world into our laughter.
We didn’t.

We stroked the passing of tomorrow into a tight worry ball.
We didn’t.

We changed our bodies and danced in the rain washing away years of years.
We didn’t.

We forgot our memories in old pepper mills which ground our knots into grist.
We didn’t.

We swam in the nude waters of transparent rainbows and hid our lust in preset colours.
We didn’t.

We crawled into silences shredding ourselves into vanishing cocoons of forgetfulness.
We didn’t.

We blew up our strangeness squeezing them into shapes of mediocrity spitting comebacks.
We didn’t.

We lifted ourselves out of our lives and squabbled away our breaths on a minor point.
We didn’t.

Playing Ball

game

There are seven cricket games going on
7 balls, 77 boys, 14 bats
Someone hits a sixer, by a hair breadth
I duck brain damage, everybody seems happy
Including me just-miss-skull-mash
By cork, leather, string and sewn seam.

People walk past unaware of falling balls
The wind blows the wind
Leaves collect in a single corner
Huddled up together cousins, grandparents
Families, midgets crumble into autumn
A wedding party without bride and groom.

A man waters the field where nothing grows
The dust settles, a fake rain rises
Before he fields the ball he grabs my eye
His lust clatters mudwards
Someone gets out I am sorry man-in-white
That of me which can give is dead

We Serve Only Lunch. Sundays Closed.

The Restaurant

Three generations, a loony son
Two vultured noses, one humped back
Sniff for money from table to table
Gnarled digits clutch anglophile photographs
Long live the queen
And of course, our country too.

At 93 he is the owner taking orders
He ignores our table, a whiney waiter sidles in
Times are bad, these people don’t pay
We order Sali Boti. Fish Patra.
Mutton Berry Pulav. Caramel Custard one-by-three.
We will pay. No card only cash.

Tongues clean teeth on diamond studded faces
Nobody chats, everybody chews, in-between courses
They order more food. Locals throng here
Foreigners arrive with guidebooks and diahorrea pills
The owner eats a plate of watermelon
Spitting out seeds the colour of peeled ceiling.

For ninety-three years he has worshipped the fugacious customer
Sweet and servile, I wonder if he goes home and beats his wife.

Come In

gate

His love flooded the keyhole
Dropped to the floor
Lurked through the rooms
Settled into her eyes.

She twisted, moaned, barred her teeth
Bruised her battered heart
Love lay in her tongue, coiled
A black, oily cobra stirring to strike.

It whorled on her stomach
Forking into darkness
Slurping, gulping, spitting
A vicious threading saliva lathers her skin.

She slinks around well oiled
Her happiness carries his name
The slow addiction of poison sets in
It’s a matter of time before she opens the door.