The green bell: a single chime.

Snowflake skulls.


Stillness fills uncharted limbs, and her eyes | pour into the landscape | like a curious crowd | asking her singular question: the trees bend close but | hesitate to answer.

She sees what she must leave behind.

Ice-melt and skin-drift.

The city grows its wilderness for her, mice on his slippers, mud in the fridge | the slugs in the garden fatten and ooze | Where is the Chief?

Hunting parties freeze then tip | toe.

It is a large temple. It is a slow building.

In another war, in widescreen, slaughterers sit and smoke cigarettes, in warm sunshine laze on tanks | waiting for their lambs to arrive.

She carries even smaller children with her, they nestle in a row in her basket as she runs, they gaze up into her face | the eggs of their angels | hatch and the infant angels | twitch and gape and mew

Their wings glisten | They are so new | evil has yet to find a | foothold in them | They are all verb | no | nouns for messing

She walks under skies so fine | the insects have still to evolve | no flight has altered the air or turned the heavens | into a mere domain

<introduction to surrealism | class 4b | 1994>

Adults clamber round their ponderous lives | amassing obstacles | storing obstacles | arranging obstacles | The children watch them, but really | don’t see them

The children draw back the blanket on their hoard of gods and pine cones, twigs and feathers and bones | Dainty zombies, not naming life or death | Luxury zombies…

The sea bellows and wails | prowling the perimeter of their innocence | starving for the tiny portions of luminous honey | they each | secrete inside them | keeping the mountains wakeful too

She has no time for the pretty horses

The adults lumber round their own tired bodies | keeping the children as places | to put lost things | imagined blankness and the better way

The children | don’t photograph the blossoms | but kick the snowmen’s skulls out of their path | and don’t wait to watch them roll away | into the empty corners of thawing grass | at the very edges of the fields of spring


from the series hypergrammar (open-ended, 2012–present)