The Explanation; A Lyrical Ballad; The Milk Train; Facts of the Matter
A boy arrived and took
time to wipe bugs off his windshield;
it was that long ago.
He dragged from his truck
a sack bulging like kidnap;
flakes of meal
spun down the driveway.
It was my turn next. I led him
through deep shade in the grazing
to a spotlit corner
by the bluebell wood.
rabbits had stupidly left open,
and their game of bowls
We poured out murder
like water electrified
and a blue charge convulsed the wood.
It was the strangest thing:
dim cries underground,
thumps, and drumming feet
but nothing to see. I took
his hand instead. He would show me.
A Lyrical Ballad
Polar bears of the Arctic Circle,
driven from their original home
by global warming, have found
a surprising new way to sparkle.
Snatching the heat from meteors,
they set fire every night to a stash
of packing cases originally used
for the distribution of whale oil.
In due course, from long shadows
flung outwards by the flames,
men in dinner jackets advance
like blackbirds over the snow.
They dance together for a while,
the men conventional, the bears
reeling on their short hind legs
in time to music of the spheres.
When the fire burns out at last,
it is hard to know what to expect.
No one these days with any sense
predicts the future of the future tense.
The Milk Train
The last train, a single carriage, stopped in the middle of nowhere. Lights failed. Heating died with the engine. I was the only passenger.
The rest was moorland as far as I could see, with a strong wind blowing and flecks of snow. Rocks juddered under the weight lying down.
Then the frost climbed on board and measured me for a new white suit. I welcomed it. I heard atoms creak in their fresh alliance.
But something escaped me and hopped to the end of its branch. It wanted to sing. When that began, the moon and stars joined in.
Facts of the Matter
My original intentions, pristine as frost,
wait for me to reclaim them. But I have
hesitated or suffered too many distractions;
I have grown used to the widening prospect
slowly revealed by my initial compass errors,
and appreciate now that I may never arrive.
Or did I misunderstand? Today I unscrewed
every bud on the camelia bush in my yard
easily with repeated twists of my fingers,
and they quite simply crumbled into dust.