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...

Slices of Moscow

Slightly built man and woman
Idealist activists of Bolshevik National Party
Slip through the defences
Of the intimidating Kremlin
Masquerading as journalists
Throw pamphlets and shout slogans
Against Putin as he looks on stone-faced
The world press gets their story

Roads the size of Elephant thighs
Highways as wide as Technicolor dreams
And foundations as solid as can be
The Muscovite Resolve to rebuild after 1812

Near the Vladikino Metro
A girl removes her white top
In the unusual June heat
Revealing a svelte figure divine
And a lacy black bra
Canoodles with her guy
The games young play

Falcon and monkey at the Red Square
And immortals at the Tretyakov Gallery
Copper sculptures at the world’s busiest Metro
And ceilings in still-life mosaic
Lap dances at a pub which I refused to visit

Old Arbat Street’s picture perfect pathway
Haven for pedestrians home to Pushkin
Every second girl who walks by
Looks like Sharapova
Hip face of New Russia
While an artist with beady eyes
Sketches a portrait of a tourist

Stunning receptionists with stern-indulgent smiles
At the majestically colonnaded Zarya
Sweet and helpful Tatyana with green streaks
And my friend Irina with cropped blonde hair
President of the Russian Academy of Business
(Only men I saw were dandy guards and burly cabdrivers)

Hordes of pretty girls urbane and efficient
English speaking students of journalism
Line the way to guide the delegates
Of the World Newspaper Congress
At the avant-garde International House of Music
They appear again at Czar’s summer palace
Handmaidens for the bewildered
Talismans of New Russia

A historic aesthetic city with a big tenacity
And plush green boulevards
Ah that amazing Garden Ring
Onion domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral
And the soulful Volga
Eight thousand rose bushes
At the Lilac Park a song waiting to burst
A city underrated a story untold

And Zhenya that fifty-three year old bundle
Of energy and knowledge in raptures
Over Botticelli’s powerful The Annunciation
or Renoir’s lyrical Nude or Degas’ riveting
Blue Dancers at the Pushkin Museum
Teacher of English at the University
Lover of Darjeeling green-leaf tea
And that perennial taxi driver
a Raj Kapoor fan Main Awara Hoon

Is the world watching?

2 September 2006