Poet’s Pepper Tree
Because I never wrote it,
your poem is better than mine.
Your birds have more colour. Their songs
climb up the down branches
of tall, weeping trees
the way clever birds might
if that was their reason.
They eat peppers
pink in their beaks.
The wind ruffles their vanity.
Right next to the scribbled sheets
of green spaces
you wrote to melancholy,
my joy erupts
like a vowel sound
screeching our wedding song.
I chew on your life on
your red cheeks
on the tongue in your head
that keeps ideas
spit at me
My jealousy for birds that are not mine
burns my groin.
I envy them climbing
up and down with their peppers
pink in their beaks. I envy
a wind that can ruffle the vanity
of whole birds
flying from bitterness.
Cassini in Heaven
The robotic Global Martian Surveyor
seeing a dozen circular craters
landed in a depression, in dust, forgot
stored orders. A cold beauty looking for ghosts
within range, looking for another us on a planet raw,
a really different kind of orbit to operate through
layers, which are wrapped in a ‘harmonious symphony’.
‘Queen Mary will host a major space conference’, her crown
realised in ‘sunlight from the upper left’. A thin
wind, but no windmills. No moon named Triste. This
is the way onions act, peeling layers and wobbling.
Cassini saw a halo of moons, Saturn’s metaphorically-
layered rings, not unlike a pearl necklace whirling
heartlessly, tearlessly, cut into rock, drilling
down to the ring-spinning pearl beauty. ‘Pearl onions’,
and I laughed, rich nitrogen and hydrocarbons, the bright
storm of the swirls and eddies near Phoebe’s lifeless
dark material. Wouldn’t it be another laugh if the
metaphor exploded our whole Theory of Innocence?
The mechanical tears gravitate into real moons.
‘There’s something I have to tell you,’ one of the
astronauts whispered, forgetting we were listening. The President
a vast void beyond our concept of good and evil, the
sun a hot dot, dead dustballs. So, not everything reflects love.
Send Letters To:
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN
Please include name, address, and a telephone number.