is changing again
I caught it in a different light
the flaky grey
my face has turned
to someone else’s
inside the inside
of the ocean, fish are hanging
they sway, silent
not even a rattle of bones
and the dead stir in us too,
coming as they do from the weight
they want our breath
want to tunnel out of us,
force apart our gullets,
and raving at daylight
one more moment
just one more
From Fathom, Oxford Poets Carcanet, 2007
for Pedro Bosch
this is the place where broken
things come to rest from their brokenness
they can’t get the taste of terracotta
out of their mouths
they know they came from mud –
they were a substance
to be walked on
now their bridles, wings, trunks
hold unexplained shadows
eyes the world from their jagged holes
above them, peacocks roost in the trees –
Neem, Arjuna and the Banyan
under which Krishna sat
the bark’s twisted textures
are ropes going into the earth
resting before the spring burst
of growth, green after green
reaching for the sky with its
First published in Mascara Literary Review, 2012
Song for Inanna/ Ishtar
Your eyes, the twin rivers
Tigris and Euphrates,
two great flocks winding through the night
mirrored by star-fields.
Capriciously, you dispose of your lovers –
the gardener, the water-carrier, the leopard-headed king.
You indulged him a full year until he was led
uncomplaining to the edge of the furrow.
Your breath smells of hooves and spit.
Your body emits the shimmer of bulls.
The grain of your groin is horned and cloven.
When you open your legs
your vastness swallows us whole.
From Singing for Inanna, Mulfran Press, 2014