Poetry Page

I’ve decided to post some poetry that I wrote, well, quite a few years ago. Re-reading the poems after all this time has been illuminating. I’d say that they are pretty awful!

Many of them were first posted on a Usenet newsgroup, which was intended to be for people to post their poems so that they could be critiqued by others. As I recall, while there was a fair bit of that going on, there was a lot of inter-personal conflict and squabbling. There are some subtle references to the discussions of the time, but these don’t really impact on the meanings of the poems.

Anyway, for what they are worth, here they are.

Albatross

Albert Ross
Died of pneumonia in his bedsit,
To the sound of pounding bass,
From the stereo of the man upstairs.

He had no food, no electricity,
No heat or light,
Because he could not pay his bills.

His grieving family wished,
That they’d tried much harder,
To take him in and care for him,
But they’d been rebuffed.

Albert was a proud man,
Keen on his independance, he said,
And didn’t want to be,
A burden round their necks.

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Christians

Don’t pray for him.
Pray for me.
It makes more sense.
Pray for me, and my innocence.

Pray for the sinner,
Pray for yourself,
Pray for those
Who’ve got no hope.

Don’t pray for those
Who know the way
Who know the religious,
The turning way.

Who understand Psyche
Who understand the way.

The world would see
A Saviour who gives himself
Yet who is still a person.

With Mother and Father,
But faces Gethsemene
And crucifixion.

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Descent/Ascent

Runs round and round
While getting lower
A ramp runs round
A metallic centre.

Metallic, shiny, polished and worn
By a million myriad feet
Infinitely trudging
Down to the depths,
Infinitely down.

Darkness all around,
Light light above.
Dark shadows, light limning
Objects apart.

Dark light below,
The essence of un-light,
Unlighting shadows which
Move lithe and free.

The beat of a drum,
Or the heart of reality,
The smell of an acrid smokey taste
Smoothing to a clogging,
Blanketing miasma.

The trudging trudging hordes
That circle the column
Lockstepping down and around and around.
Up there they were
Man.
Woman.
Child.

No more.

As they sink deeper,
Fleshy things fall away.
Clothes first, that symbol
Of original sin.

Their sin is more recent,
Revealed by distortions in
Face and in frame.

Their nakedness becomes
An irrelevant fact as
Sex, age and race,
Name, feelings, humanity,
All fade to a single
Asexual,
Raceless,
Featureless,
Ageless,
Conformity.

One raises his head
(still he, STILL HE).

Sees that he is leaving
The light light behind.
Looks down at the dark light
To which he is moving,
Breaks out the lockstep
And cries for the light light.

Reaches up, turns around,
And tries to climb up,
Pushing and shoving
The descending Zombies,
Who stolidly continue to
Trudge round the column
Like moths to the candle flame
Still seeking, still seeking
The dark light below.

The rebel still struggles
To get to the light light,
Flees from the dark light
That pulls from below.

The ramp suddenly twists
Throws him off balance.
It seems to be steeper
Much steeper and sloping
From inner to outer.

Alarm sounds a clangour,
A shrillness, a piercing
Screams out vibrating
The air, (is it air?)
The air seems to suffocate,
Sedate.

Face down on the ramp
He screams as he slips,
The ramp getting steeper
While the others just trudge
Mindlessly, easily, by.

The friction is burning
On hands splayed out wide,
on feet that are scrabbling
To gain him some grip.

All useless, reflexive,
As he slides over
The edge of the spiral
And spins into space.
A five pointed brightness
descending to dark light,
To shadows that GLOW,
Details picked out by dark light.

A space that gets brighter
With the dark light he shunned,
As his rebellion fades and dissolves.
His sense of self fades
“He” becomes neutral,
Becomes gender free.
“It” better fits the thing “he” becomes.
Asexual,
Raceless,
Featureless,
Ageless,
Conformity.

The bottom approaches,
Lit up by darkness,
Bright shadows,
Hiding details,
Dark light exposing
The details outlined.
Great sources of dark light,
Like suns that emit darkness,
Not like the Black Holes
That eat up light light,
They belong to the light light.

It lands without crashing,
Stands, looks about
With eyes that see
By dark light not light light.

It is alone,
No sign of the spiral,
No sign of others,
Indescribable landscape,
It shrugs and moves off
To find out its fate,
Moving in passionless,
Unreasoning purpose.

Much later, much later,
After many happenings,
A whole life lived
In the dark-light,
Who can tell?
The entity comes walking
Through indescribable structures
Which seem somewhat similar
To those that it saw
When it arrived,
First came to this place.

The dark-light reveals
A metallic structure,
The twin of the other
A helical screw.
This runs widdershins,
The opposite spiral,
It steps on the ramp,
As it has to do.

Immediately in lockstep
With thousands of others
It easily mounts
The wide spiral structure.
It begins to gain character,
Sex, race, features, difference.
It screams and tries to
Return to below.

The ramp twists upwards
It slides it away
From the dark light it’s used to,
Spins it out into space.

Space which then pushes it
Spiralling upwards,
A star shape rotating
Towards the light light.

“It” becomes “she”,
Her age becomes lower,
Woman, maiden, maid, baby.

Bursts into light light,
Cries to be born.

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Extinction

Why should it be a violent place?
A species that doesn’t protect its young
Does not survive.
Doesn’t deserve to.
Is the human race destined for extinction?

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HATE

It starts as an atom,
A miniature Black Hole of the soul,
Pulling and tugging,
The star matter,
The personality,
Sucking it in,
Streaming through the event horizon.

And as the star matter slides
To its doom, its end,
Squeezed and stretched spagetti-wise
Like a comic cosmic string,
Al dente to the force of gravity,
As it slides, it glows as if it knows
It is its last chance
To impress its image
On the universe.

Past the point of no return
Personality dragged into the well of hate,
Leaving no feeling, no humanity, no self.

All is swallowed,
Leaving nothing else.
Hate is left, hate is all.
Migrating downwards,
Resting in gut,
Twisting and spoiling
The body it resides in.

All beauty, all reason,
Flees the body,
Flees the Black Hole,
Afraid that it may
Itself be consumed.
Cancerous and stinking,
The hate swells outward,
Forms the sweat on brow and on lip,
Smiles become sneers,
Eyes burn with black fire,
Lasering the world
Which now exists
Only to be hated.

Contorted of soul,
Contorted of body,
The Black Hole within
Shows dark through skin,
A thunder entrapped
Threatening eruption.

No corner is left
For light to hide in,
The odor of hate
Sickly slickly oozes
Miasmas of doom.

The voice cracks and breaks,
Harsh whining and grating,
The nail on the backboard,
The scream of a bearing
That is dry as a bone.

Hate is destroying emotion,
Hate kills personality,
Leaving a caricature,
A shell.

More to be pitied than feared.

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Hope

Mark Strand has got it wrong.
When a poet hates himself
He hates the whole world, not the people.
Hate the world and not the people.

People he has pity for,
The blindness, the unfeeling,
The self-satisfied, the smug.

He doesn’t hate them he pities.
The violent, the sick, the driven, the sad.

Hate is reserved for the system,
The style, the poison of the real.

People are transformed transmogrified by hope.
Hope is the saviour, the true religion.

Hope is what make the ghetto glow, the downtrod
bloom.

Pity it lasts for microseconds, pico-millenia.
Pity it fades like the cut flower ripped from its
stem.

My friend Pandora, she has a box.
Looked in and found troubles.
End on end.

But then came hope last of all.
The most emphemeral of all lusts,
Dying before it’s a life, alive.

A cruel joke.
A cruel joke.
A cruel joke.

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I can hear the music in my head!

I can hear the music in my head!
I can hear the music in my head!
Carry my thoughts
(Hear that base line)
The way I thought them
(laying foundation)
To the gods know where
(around the world)

I can hear the music in my head!
I can hear the music in my head!
When the words leave me
(Laying down solid rhythm)
I despair
(faster than a heart beat)
That they will find no harbour
(building expectation)

I can hear the music in my head!
I can hear the music in my head!
The melody, a threnody
(Filling the void)
A funeral dirge
(Melody resting on the foundation)
To my hopes and fears
(Lacking one part of the whole)

I can hear the music in my head!
I can hear the music in my head!
Words striking against
(Percussion abrasive)
Prejudices and biasses
(Tying and binding all together)
Withering and dying, meaning nothing
(Making sense of the whole)

Synergy and synthesis
Merging many themes into one
Striving to give birth to, to explain
A holistic experience that defies analysis
Music defies description, words
“Appreciation” often destroys
One listens but one can’t explain.
(I can hear the music in my head!)
(I can hear the music in my head!)

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Infinity Haiku

Add one to number.
Infinity is easy.
Repeat it ad lib.

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In the Evening of the World

In the evening of the world,
The one-eyed man is king,
Riding his cliched throne,
From star to star to star.

The Frog Prince swims below,
Beneath the starry trail
As the groaning, grinding galaxies,
Hurdy-gurdy round and round.

The lady comes, as come she must,
Her daughter’s voice shouts the armies,
The lady and the Frog Prince,
Whip them up with laughter,
Their eyes drop tears where they go.

In the third Millennium
The Prince’s daughter holds sway,
When comes the Man of Chalk
With metal in his genes.

Seduces her with his works of gold,
His dreams of movement and of life.
The dead cold graves give up his troops,
Stars explode in their love and hate.

Entropy must have its way,
The daughter and the Man of Chalk,
Are condemned to live more slowly,
By minute, by hour, by day, by epoch.

The king stirs, and casts his eye about,
Thinking that he’s missed something,
That he should know about,
But sinks back into apathy
As Newton’s clock runs down.

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I read a poem here once

I read a poem here once.
It went “tumpty tumpty tump “,
“Tump, tump, tump tumpty tump”,
Or something like that I think.

It sort of rhymed in the first part,
Though “grouse” doesn’t fit with “moose”,
And it was about “love” and “june” and
“Happiness” and “health”,
Or maybe “sadness” and “pain”.

I read a poem here once,
I don’t remember it well,
I don’t know who wrote it.
Or whether it was boy or girl,
But I do remember it had a dog in it,
And maybe a horse as well.

Or maybe that was another poem,
The one by old whatsisname?
But he never writes in that style,
So maybe I’ll think again.

I read a poem here once
And I can’t think how it goes,
If anyone knows the one that I mean,
Perhaps they’ll let me know.

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January

January – shorts and tees,
January – salads and barbecues,
January – sun, sea and sand,
January – summer holidays and
January – the Christmas Break.

January – clear blue skies,
January – temps in the 80s,
January – yachts on the harbour,
January – long leisurely days,
January – downunder is great!

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MADNESS

So everyone is mad in a logical way,
Strange in the way that we choose to be,
Picking our wierd from range of life choices,
Pulling the wings from the fly of our obsession.

We don’t have to be cruel,
Except to ourselves.
We don’t have to cry,
Except in the darkness,
That thrills and spills and breaks out,
And cruels us.

Nature our model, nature our nurture,
But human nature is to rise above that,
Pulling and pushing the world that surrounds us,
Sticking and pricking and poking and digging us.

So everyones mad in a logical way,
Reacting and acting and fighting it back,
The soft smoothy velvet, and soft silky smile,
That hides iron claw and tooth tearing white.

Nature our nurture, nature our foe,
Supporting below and contending above,
Of course we are nature, we are the foe,
Contending,
Fighting,
Loving,
Hating.

What else could we be?

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Monster of Loneliness

Creeping slowly insidiously
Blackness blankness
Unfulfilled

Never complete
Always partial
Fragmentary.

Made of sinning
Made of sweating
Trying.

Alone amongst millions
TV evangelist
Begging.

Freaking
Twin peaking
Quirking.

Mostly outgoing
Without any income
Drinking.

Chromium bandit
Taking my lifeblood
Draining.

Incineration
Dying
Dying.

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My Sisters

My sisters and me.
Part of a three,
Part of a five with my parents.

Harmonious whole,
Friends and family,
My friends, their friends.

Drifting apart,
UK and here,
Families apart.

Their friends became spouses,
They had kids,
Formed own families.

Separated by space,
separated by time,
My sisters and me.

Still feeling the break,
Still feeling apart,
But together won’t work.

Christmas and Easter,
The rest of the year,
Close to them still.

Stilted talking on phones,
Contact with nieces,
And nephews afar.

Separated in love,
Not split by hate,
My sisters and I.

We’re lucky we are,
Blessed by fate,
My sisters and I.

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Oh shit!

Oh shit! Oh shit!
I feel a poem coming on.
Why is it so like constipation?
And the results so much the same?

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One Person, Two

I am not just one person,
I am two.
She/me is one person.
She/me likes/dislikes.

We have two views, me and her,
But we ARE one.
I have my views, she hers,
We, we have two views,
But they are one, one same view.

My wife, her husband, we think alike,
We think, we think different.

She likes, she likes.
I don’t like, I don’t like.
I like, I like.
She doesn’t like, she doesn’t!

What’s it like to be one person,
Two person?

It’s not too strange.
It’s comfortable.
It SEEMS ok. It is ok.

My wife, my friend, my love.
As same as, as different as!

She is me, and I am HER.
I don’t think of me as
A person, it is US.
Me and her.
For good or bad we are one person,
Like it or not, we are ONE.

Sometimes I struggle to be one,
But I would only be
Half me, half me, half me.

I can’t think,
I can’t believe that I would be
Half a person, half me, half us.

I think I’m blessed.

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Response

Fifteen
Sixteen
Seventeen
Eighteen
Countdown
Countup
More and morte and more and morte
Less and death and less and death
Countup
Countdown
Three
Two
One.

Make my feelings HURT.
Make my feelings feel.
Is hurt the only feeling.
It’s the one that cuts and mains.

There are other excretions than shit.
My brain dumps all the time.

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Softness

Soft smooth thoughts, no edges.
Soft smooth feelings, no sharp bits.
Sooothing, smooothing, soft.

Cotton candy, cotton words.
Where’s the feeling,
Where’s the HURT!

Pops like a balloon, nothing left,
No substance, nothing solid.

Chromium lacking,
Rounded edges like a kid’s toy,
Soft fluffy toys made into words.

Where are the guts, the entrails
Steaming in the gutter,
The bullet through the temple,
The knife slit to the throat,
Guttering a life in a fount of blood.

Life too simple,
Too barbie doll.
Life’s not like that,
Life is cruel.

Life is the teenager
Wiped on the freeway,
The stuttering cripple,
The result of the car crash.

Life is the addict,
Attached to his “substance”
Life is the baby
Born to poverty.

Life is the sad side, the sick side,
The mother leaving giving her baby
The addict addicting her kid in the womb.

The biscuit tin life,
The flowers,
The garlands,
Are some FICTICIOUS
Some unreal existance
The wishes of middle class
Enrich-ed dreamers
Who don’t real life
From a pain in the butt.

Who don’t know NOTHING
Who don’t feel NOTHING
Who don’t experience NOTHING
Who don’t really exist.

Softness disgusts me.

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The Emperor

Give him a crown, give him a crown.
He needs it, he deserves it.
Make him the emperor,
The ruler of the world!

He has the sneer,
He has the condescending air,
He has the superiority
Of the truly regal!

But hush, look here.
The little boy points.
The Emperor has no clothes!
The Emperor has no clothes!

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The Rest of Me

A person… One person….
It doesn’t make sense.
One does not compute, without two.

Two is the minimum,
There is no one isolate person.

One person is not complete.
They are doomed to

To

To

Search for the missing second,
The missing other.

Blessed are they who find the OTHER.
The one that makes them complete.
The blessed.

One almost credits the old belief
That the ultimate being was split asunder,
Always to search out the other half,
The complement of oneself.

I HAVE FOUND HER, my other half,
I’ve had her for twenty years or more.
I’ve never told her,
Never thought it necessary…

I’ve even known it for that long too.
Pity those, the loners,
Those who cannot find the one,
The one who fits.
Splits,
Quits…..

My wife, my partner, my other half.
My other half whether she knows it or not.
And she doesn’t.

She knows at a fundamental level.
At an unthinking level that we are one,
That we make one being under nature.

Cruel nature that leaves many people
Alone, without.

I FEEL for them.
I feel FOR them.
I feel for THEM.

Nature, fate,
Fate, nature.

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The World Spins Too Fast

The world spins too fast.
I watch the stars,
Whip through the emphemeral veils of clouds,
Dive down below the lip of the horizon,
Only to vault up again on the other side.

The world spins too fast.
I move and earthquakes rumble,
Rocks shift and stir,
Glaciers slither to the sea,
My blood more sluggish than theirs.

The world spins too fast.
The ice sheets dance,
Advance, retreat, advance, retreat.
Sleet of radiation pervades my body,
The sun looms large, my source of heat,
The basic energy of the world.

The world spins too fast.
Eons and epochs spin by like days,
As I slow down, they speed up,
With the fundamental reciprocity
Of mathematics.

The world spins faster.
The end approaches.
The sun collapses and
Galaxies spin like tops.
The black holes gulp them down,
The universe is quiet,
Nothing left to make a sound,
Nothing left to spin.
Nothing for me to see or even be.

In a small corner of nothing,
An atom is born, out of quarks,
Out of nothing, location nowhere.
I observe, I only see.

The world spins faster.
Millenia pass.
Another atom appears,
Out of nothing, out of nowhere.
Can I push? I can’t.

The world spins faster.
Eons piles upon eons,
Now there are enough,
Atoms creep to one another,
Defining time as they creep,
Slowly as time to meet in marriage,
Of atom to atom
Giving birth to molecules.
I feel the first touch of matter.

The world spins faster.
Gas clouds condense to planets,
In a time scale of near infinites,
Many times the times that I measure.

The world spins faster.
I spin down into the world that I measure.
I notice a strange phenomenon
Creeping over the rocks, it’s life.

The world spins faster.
The world’s life evolves
But slowly to my eyes,
It takes many millenia,
To go from slime, to cells,
To animalicules,
And I am part of all of it.

The world spins faster.
Now my timescale is almost the same,
As the timescale of the world I inhabit.
An insect jumps and I feel it,
A worm slithers and I slither too,
I am the killing lion and the prey.
My time is the time of the world.

The world spins too fast.
The stars begin to spin,
I see them move across the bridge of the sky,
Like glowworms, not like static balls of gas,
Winding up to a headlong dash.

I want to hold it back but
The world spins too fast.

I need to hold it back but
The world spins too fast.

I cannot hold it back but
The world spins too fast.

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Toad Potatoes

I hope they put
Toad genes in potatoes.
The damn Vegetarians
Have life too easy.
Their food doesn’t run away.
Now it will.

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Under an Alien Sky

Under an alien sky I die,
A sky of exotic hue,
So different from the skies of home.

My breath, my pain, draws in the alien air,
Scarcely rich enough to nurture life,
One would have thought.

But there is life here.

I’ve sailed the seas of space,
A dark sea, harsher than that of home.
And different from the oceans here.

The scent of the sea beyond the strand,
Both reminds me of home
And remind me that I am somewhere else.

Plants loom over my resting place,
Strange growths with strange fruits,
Cousins only to the fruits of home.

I’ve sailed the whirlpool galaxies,
Skirted the ravenous black holes,
Ridden singularities to the end of time,
And now I’m cast up on the reefs of other.

They crowd closer, these natives.

Bipedal, just as I am, with two eyes,
Their similarities pointing up their differences,
Their skin thicker than mine, their limbs more sturdy.

Under an alien sky.
The alien sun burning my skin,
Delicate from years of dark and artificial light.

Suddenly, they are pushed aside,
These natives of an unknown sun,
Made to stand back.

Another native, but different, hue of skin,
Different costume, different ways.
Small eyes glint, emotion unknown.
Does he want to help?
Too late!

I’ve sailed the seas of space,
I’ve ridden the tides of the margins,
I’ve risked the singularities
Hidden behind the event horizon,
I’ve gambled with the cold probabilities
Of science and of space.

I’ve lost …. or won.

I sip the last of the alien air,
In pain, I die, cast up on the reefs of space,
Marooned on this rock called “Earth”.

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UPPERCASE

MISSING
PISSING
SHUTTING
FUCKING

OPENING
POKING
SHUTTING
FUCKING

DYING
LYING
SHUTTING
MUCKING

DOGS
CATS
MATS
FATS

WHIZZING
FIZZING
CUTTING
SHUCKING

BUY A NEW ONE
TRY A NEW ONE
CHUCK A NEW ONE
HATE A NEW ONE

LOVE AN OLD ONE
STROKE AN OLD ONE
FIT AN OLD ONE
FUCK AN OLD ONE

CLOSED AS DEATH
OPEN AS LIFE
COOL AS THE GRAVE
WARM AS BIRTH

ROUND WE GO
ROUND AGAIN
ROUND AS ICE
COOL AS A BALL

MANY PEOPLE LIVE LOVE DIE
AND DON’T FEEL.

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Walking on the Moon

I was walking on the Moon.
Stepping over craters,
Around the ubiquitous monoliths.

Came across a Kiwi.
“Gudday, mate!”

Looked at the rising Earth together.
“Jeez that was some rain we had!”
“Dunno, mate, I was in Hamilton”
“Oh, right. Flooded Wakefield Street”
“Right. No chance in Hamilton”.
“Right. Foggy sometimes, though”.
“Yeah. No planes, right?”.
“Diverted to Auckland”
“Yeah!”.

Contemplated the spinning globe.

“Mmm. See ya, then”.
“OK, see ya!”

I was walking on the Moon.
Stepping over craters,
Around the ubiquitous monoliths.

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When I’m alone

When I’m alone, I’m truly alone.
I exist for no one.
No one knows me.

I’m in a room.
They say they love me,
But who are they?

My soul builds a barrier
That none can pass,
Though I want them to.

Do people communicate?
Sometimes I think they don’t.
Or is it just me.

I curl with my loved one.
Does she love me?
I’m certain she does.

A wise friend told me,
“Tell her, you idiot”,
But I’m sure she knows.

But still sometimes,
I feel alone,
Though I know I’m not.

Or am I?

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Without Referent

Part 1 – Assonance

.. gives sameness to all,
.. make a difference to some.
.. has no ending,
But .. begins of itself.

The beginning starts to ..
Once it ends in ..
Sometimes it puts more ..
Often it makes it ..

The finest of them .. a need,
The worst .. the object of derision,
But most .. neither first or last,
Having .. not the best of things.

Part 2 – Dissonance

My world is now broken,
Division gives twice as many,
Why does it seem so different,
Why can’t it be the same?

Many people often go there,
Others don’t.

Chasms and crevasses,
Split earth and ice,
Racking and heaving,
In tectonic agony,
Geological divisions,
Genesis of species.

Void of space,
Void between spheres,
Matches voids between ears,
Understanding is losing
The voids between spheres,
Between ears.

Part 3 – Conflict

“Shol so wou thims?”
“Crunna”
“Et shem ett wou washe du thar?”
“Shol so wou than’g me du thar?”
“Eyar son’l tham, shei’nk do wheldoun!”
“Shot me, shew son’l wou sacket?”
“Ke? Ke?”
“Wou sennet sacket!”
“Shol avoud wou? Hezisink,
Shol so wou shew avoud hezisink!”
“Hah, wou shal shalm, wou ouldan
Thoul ett no ke!”
“Thoul son’l! Shol shew wou than shan?”
“Shan avoud…?
Ett shol avoud…?”
“Ew, fash’l man’ge wheldoun..
Shet knew eff tee shone!”
“Tho shtu!”
“OK, shol so wou thims?”

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