the last sin
  pale ashen sky
a bleary eye
clouds of recurring screams...
i am a zoo
  an octopus leviathan
tentacles into an ocean
of unformed emotions...
syphilis and love  
  syphilitic pall
stifles the clear blue
i contort...
shell and pearl
  amidst highs and lows
in life's ocean flows
a shell peony-mouthed...
i am an unmarried mother
  fed on stings
of barbed milk morality
my child-plankton...
the lovers
  cell upon cell
bridge of their union
hung on the pillars...
  ogre of age
and time cavil
at a warm picture...
the young today
  innocence thaws
at the altar
of ambition...

farewell lunch

we were at this upmarket Thai restaurant
anachronistically titled Ego Thai
i had said let’s do a goodbye lunch
as i opened the rustic wooden door
done up in art deco a pungent aroma
wafted through the rain laden air
evocative but of nowhere memories
the long shafts of thin wood hanging
from the first floor roof making a languid
rectangular space caught her eye
i am fascinated by structures she said
over iced lemon tea we talked
about cyber feminism relationships internet
her life at Trinity and Tokyo Cancelled
the streets of Prague and the unbearable
lightness of being there were some awkward
silences understandably then suddenly
almost nonchalantly she said do you want
to see some pictures i said yes
she took out her Olympus digicam
and showed me some photos of Delhi
taken from the presidential suite at the Taj
then almost casually again she said
maybe i can take a picture of you
i said yes and straightened up
she took the picture there i was
looking a bit stiff she said you must visit
Cambridge when you are in London next
meanwhile the food was served
how’s the Thai green curry i asked

in the car when i was dropping her home
she looked at me intently and smiled
raindrops were belting music on the window
and the normally dusty streets were awash
with a fresh coat of life i said lovely weather
generally making small talk she said turn left
and we were there it was a light drizzle now
i got out and gave her a hug
not a full warm-blooded one but a distant clinch
i heard a whisper of an air kiss near my cheek
and then she was gone
just like that

(25 September 2005 )