Gumnuts rain on her car like rain
that does not sting if he knows its reason
but if it is to fall is like dread
is dread and such dread to
blast every very thing but love she said
in a word (as in mortality hazard ratio)
syllable in a word (as in crude death rate)
letter in a syllable in a word (as in R0)
as in a curve in a letter in a syllable in a word at last hooked
as in a serif in—breath caught

whose small terrors and wonders add up
to the band to the nation to the world
of magpie that watches man
that only the woman notices knowing
he could unflinch the man
high in the gumnut tree
he could he could who with a falling coo
could unflinch more if coming closer could
release them unto gargling play
all the while could so do
thrilling with the same beak
better corvid than we think
shrike bastard or national carillon
who is she to say
who? Indeed, she nods
feeling cloven in three
warding bearing striking
all at once
sprayed nutted cut
before they might settle into dreams
pied light and feathers

That’s condign reward for crimes he assumed
murder in his little dreams big enough for the world.

Newly unhappy or routinely altered
he has imagined this day this swoop
the signs were there in black and amber
spike and a chip flying from his scalp

for the reason of the world is
to do what must and not what her hands want
which would deal solitaire all day long
out of fear of the beak and laws of nature

trees where creatures lurk and wait
when they might perch and sing
the falling of a day some other’s way
to a dawn that is a joy to rise without us.

She closes the window and drives.

God-shaped Dance Hall

“For that which I work
I do not acknowledge
for not what I will
this I practise but
what I hate
this I do.”

Dance to that if you can.

Hello brother the Lord sang
Hello sister sang the younger man, listening
Too few stories for your life?
Her everybody day is a mystical playground
Song of grey fellowship with the humans—
She is dead or rather not dead but over there
Dancing with the dead in grey festival with shades
While he is speaking her dance and timbre
Making good the promise of news even if it is letters
NYKPDLMVRE over and over like the name of god
Or the god breath and mantra of her steps.
The Bible on this phone has a paywall of China
Of porcelain that nobody breaks but ancient geeks:
If only love were all you needed he would possess just one
And never have to read again.

“Come Lord she’s right beneath both our feet dancing.”

The breath the breath is catching
Believe her or not that’s what’s going on.

Solstice 2020: Shock and Awful on the Vegetable Way

Death once half-achieved
he returned
hands colder than work.

I’ve gathered the worst lessons all along:
what was a snail more shelly than before
what was a belly softer than a song:
punishment for each moment I was sure.
I lived my time on stalks of my own words
watching as trees take a bite of the earth
choral truth accreted by girls in beards
while I gave succour to fools for their wealth:
I am waking once again to their slap
the call of the weird wants me all alone
that evil scares me is my one true trick—
what they’re finally good for, and that’s fine,
it was in my nature to space these verbs
tidy packets of shocked-out wombat turds.

Small brown treefrogs ring
ringing stars
nearer than error.

Buck doesn’t turn to
keeps chewing—
koalas eat light.

Breath more certain for not getting noticed
drops kindly deeper if given a chance
we steady our hearts and do not pretend
veering careful if not smart from defence
beneath a new moon on to the next beast
captured by the verge in shock at the lights
much if not pretty back to the slant crossed.
When you’re asking what must change consider
we’ll arrive there anyway soon enough
walk or drive how we got there we’ll wonder
one breath at a time or another breath
together, it’s hard to say isn’t it?
So why do you have to be a fuckwit?

Horizon’s gone pale
treefrogs sleep
I hear traffic now.