Foxy Lady

She is small and full of glee,
a laugh made of bone and bright fluff
Her fur is soft, brown, long,
spiked out not as punk but as puff
When I come to her gate she dips and jumps
and speaks with yaps and yips that shine in the air
She runs to me and sniffs my knees,
looks up with bronze eyes full of hug
and hope for a treat and a pat and a rub
of tum and a stroke of back, which, of course,
she’ll get.


Broken hearts rattle
     like shell-shards in a
     tobacco tin

The shrieks of bayoneted babies
The groans of beaten babies
The call of babies
     wailing for love
The dead eyes of dissociated babies
The silence of babies
     whose hearts are broken

In Uganda, where the warlords —
In Afghanistan, where the soldiers —
In Australia, where the preachers
     and the books
     and the fathers
     and, bewildered,
     the mothers
     and the poets —

At the book launch
One hundred brains,
roughly level
in this vaulted room
You would think —
You would think we could —

Broken hearts rattle
     like shell-shards in a
     tobacco tin


The beautiful strange enormous cricket-thing
     that came in when your windows were open
     that got in your hair
     that you put out
     into the violent February weather
     thinking that its proper domain
     thinking yourself not able to provide for it
     that came in again
     that you put out again
The beautiful strange enormous cricket-thing
     with the dull brown surface
     with the folded wings
     with the antennae
     with the many-faceted eyes
     with the incessant moving and searching
     with the glorious reflective red inside its big jumping-legs
The beautiful strange enormous cricket-thing
     has expired on your back-door threshold
     its guts carried off by the amoral ants
     its body now an empty bottle
     its glorious legs cut away,


Waking on his narrow temporary bed,
surprised without his face,
he looks at

with unshuttered tenderness.

I make us breakfast
and we each continue
with our

Soon he shall be out there somewhere
chasing some fresh
and pretty

He shall nuzzle into her, mouth and mind
Outgrow her, chase another
Or be outgrown and

And I will miss him in soma and aura, earth and space,
satellites and colonies of duplicitous language
and occasional casual

(First published in Creatrix)