Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Heart Remedy

My doctor prescribed
50 grams of dark chocolate
three times a week
for high cholesterol.
Get the fair trade stuff, she suggested.
In the night I fumble
empty packets from the bin,
scribbling surfaces, where my pen
tries to unblock other arteries.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Neighbour Tom

The man next door was dead for days
before police undid the latch
and climbed the stairs to his bed,
a bottle empty of his first wife’s pain relief
and garbled scribble to travelling spouse
‘…you have your way and I mine…’

Boisterous and full of his garden schemes
Tom had driven us twice
to reach and sweep at Tai Chi.
His car did not appear again.
‘See you round’
taped to the sunroom door.

A week before we’re seated in a pub
to hear ‘Ukulele Junction’, have a beer,
rambling through cheerful gab.
Somehow I mention that I pray.
‘You pray, I meditate.’ he said.

© Steve Isham June 2006

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Inscriptions for God's Ashes

Smooth stone’s symmetry
raked to graded perfection.
Zen condolences.

Gong’s resonant note.
Other valleys echo too.
No one to hear it.

Road ends, empty house.
Darkness gathers in behind.
Make the best of it.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Septic Tank

A tub of tiny monsters
take down the mess we feed them.
They’ve also an appetite for trees.
We send these down a tube
from the house alongside the mess,
in shape of soggy ply squares.
They may have devoured
a small forest in 25 years.
Just water spills to the French drain.

There were earlier occupants.
When I brought my class home for a party,
(I was a teacher then,)
a concrete box had arrived
new and inviting beside the drive,
an unplanned attraction.
Kids wormed in and out
and shouted to their echoes.
Later they reduced sausage rolls,
potato chips, ice cream, and cake
to a few crumbs and grease spots.
But still, with nothing like the appetite
of these other monsters.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Cain's Altar

Cain, arms strong as pillars
piles a cube house of stones, windowless
and strews his cumin and lentils
where the crescent moon glints
in his cold eye. Cain kisses stone.

Abel, unable to build anything much,
signals his smoke, pleading
to a broad glory box above.
Gets a jasper visitation,
cube bright as blazes, brimming
large, sun dimming
sky full of crystal diffusion.

Cain hates his brother
for his Big Light favour and kills, blood
upon red blood and goes saddled into the world
with sword like a moon, scything,
catching his harvest back
to the blackened cube, multitudes
circling, circling, kissing the stone.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Which Way the Wind?

One bitter night
blew in the draught
of captured Christ.
His cause is lost.
In force of gale
does Peter fail,
and swears,
"I knew him not."
The weather vane, a cock.