after Matsuo Bashō
In the nearly sun
A mist rises on the water
To the now awake
Two bees make honey
In a flower sweet but still
Alone as welcome
To something alert
A swan moving in a lake
Upon gold they sit
Observers of light
There is something electric
In this crest of white
As the bees work
A mesmerising sound grows
To constant measure
Light on the water
That sings its song to the dawn
In time to the beat
Hey, Amigo. Yes, Gringo.
You and I we travel in tunnels.
They say this stuff makes you invincible.
So both of us in shadow –
the brain controlling sums alien.
These sums measure the smallest tremble.
Amigo, I notice your hand upon something personal.
And after we are done, I forgot to mention
we’ll be waiting,
Escobar, Jesus is coming.
But, Gringo, you said, the facts.
Yes, but Pablo or is it Manuel ?
All you do is change the channel,
and never pay your tax.
Amazing Grace, you made me invincible, strong and rich.
Making a grab,
I got my legs to play with my breasts.
and my hands to give birth to my face.
The world’s strongest and richest speaks:
Escobar, Jesus is coming.
So show respect.
Assist me, assist The Magnificent.
I am invincible on ground unlimited.
And sit in tower with cup between industry and dust
organiser of the money shot.
In each face
where once were words now is humming.
‘He is?’ ‘Tell me he is.’ ‘He is:
“es nuestro amigo”’
We told you before, Escobar, Jesus is coming.
Gringo, this wall you said,
Amigo it is likely to account for many dead
but who cares / what the heck.
We have this tunnel of ours: to enter together.
and lie there flat wanting,
the sweat of coke, the sweat of ambrosia.
It could be quite a party but you cannot live to see it.
Pablo, I hope you vote for me.
Another time they’ll say,
Escobar for President.
It was all a bit of a mistake, slightly careless:
due to a mix up with the Americans
the wrong things went to the wrong place.
‘Excellency, that was and is,’
‘Is it … slightly hopeless, I mean,
to lose an Empire due to Suez?’
‘What?’ ‘I mean, Ambassador, shall I draw the curtains?’
‘Yes, draw the curtains at the embassy.’
No rhyme or reason
Some vague notion of globalisation:
A hairy bear will take my home and stay there.
Brexit? Is that you?
I thought, you, I mean, really? Really?
I don’t do detail, don’t care, just fix it.
While I stare at the wall
On my sunken patio.
Sit perfectly still and be kissed
while sunning yourself
beside the heat of home-made screen
this good news, the new year brings.
Bargains by the dozen,
go out visit a crowd of mad gunmen
haunting the aisles of exploding shopping malls.
As when in irrational mood
they spray the car park with guns and food
everyone agrees shopping is ecstasy;
with the wildness on every person’s lips
that speaks direct.
I don’t care, I got here first
with mouth pursed, kneel,
to hear a final word: a loaded quip.
No fire or glamour, no words or hammer
What light is let into the empty brain ?
Is it heroin or cocaine? Or just nerve ending ?
To pause, engage, kiss
with this vast fix
that we see across the sky in smiling lips.
Have I not free will to drive in, shop and kill ?
To celebrate a
prosperous year for all fanatics
and everyone else in any
kind of racket
such as our friends in
There are lots of cameras around
with which to spy upon us.
It makes them smile
to see all that moody heat
chasing deals up and down the street.
Observe the enthusiastic dead.
A carriage of them we will make
and fill their steady, boys, steady,
with steady state.
The bodies we will make.
We tend to speculate
on what they might have said
about their rotting.
Neither will the bugle wake them
As the rotting sun is set
on that long day to say good-bye to all that’s good.