Observation, Winter 1990

Four girls dressed alike walk across a lawn.
Four bouncy girls with spindly legs in suffocating black tights
below short, faded, splayed blue skirts
crush the grass with sullen brogues.
Above their waists, pastel blouses flop out of stunted jackets.
It looks like a school uniform, but I’m afraid it’s in fashion.

(First published in Wasteland)


You have
Touched me
With your life, with your words
Now if they
Touch you
It’ll be like acid in my eyes
They better
Leave you
Because I’ve learned a few tricks
And if they
Touch you
There’ll be confusion and pain
And when I
Get like that
They better look out for their necks

Because I
Love you
I can’t say it any better
And I
Miss you
It never gets any better
So if they
Stop you
From visiting with me
My nerves might


Take my hand in a firm grip
Lead me from the grey concrete sadness
Fire me out forward into
wild beauty of expanding treetop light.

I find my place here, floating
Flying like Superman (though I can’t save the world)
Six senses tuned to thrilling harmony
An n-dimensional mental laser light show.

Spectral spirals twinkle down
Feather-falling into a luminous pool
Softly, gently they merge
And I follow them down through the weightless depths.

Swathes of velvet fire
stroke me with calm green and blue.
Jagged red-gold icicles
Aimed and quivering, punch the air…

Pinprick swords cut brilliance!
Liquid light erupts and swoops and leaps!
Photon sculptures dance through me
In electrifying kaleidoscope embrace

I have surrendered myself.
The fireworks soften without fading
Slow me, calm me, smooth me out
Lower me gently onto a sunlit grass carpet.