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...


'i have to spin straw into gold
and i do not know how to do it
what will you give me said the manikin
if i do it for you…'

what if we wake up one fine morning
and discover we have no soul
our souls have left us for an interplanetary junket
an all souls meet to discuss
the futility of being in a body which decays
and is wrought with disease
what would we be shorn of a soul
mere vapours and pretensions
products of a giant human-making factory
packaged to procreate
the nowhere people
in a nowhere land

it's six p.m. the siren shrieks the shift is over
time to go back to our soulless homes
talk to soulless wives cuddle a soulless child
make love to soulless apparitions
papier maches with a fleshy skin
all bone and bulge no soul

who is this inside me?
is it me?
or is it my other self?
but who am i?
don't we often look into the mirror
make funny faces and wonder who is this grotesque
character hanging out in the cold

a little voiceless voice tells us
who we are
and then we wonder who
does this voice belong to
no wonder rumpelstiltskin was willing
to forego the treasures no gold no diamonds
for all the possessions in the world
he wanted a soul
'today i bake tomorrow brew
the next i'll have the young queen's child'

and here we are living in a material world with a material girl
clones of the gnome who turned straw into gold
only too keen to hang him.

( 21 September 2002 )