The things I’ve learned

How to appear simultaneously in Melbourne, London and Perth.
How to check the news, briefly, once a day.
How to buy two weeks’ food at once.
How to use less toilet paper.
How to wash my hands.
How to sprout beans.
How to bake bread.
How to be alone.
How to relax.
These are the things I’ve learned.

First published in Written in the Time of COVID19, Shire of Nillumbik, October 2020

Observed constraints

This house I am temporarily inhabiting has so many walls.
We fought for our freedom to build.
Difference between a wall and a fence: you can see through a fence.
Which is crueler?

This is nonsense; this is a lie; this is a paradox; this is a theorem.
Once I got free I wanted back inside.
In the prison things were calmer after the razor wire was installed.
You have to know the gate and how to get a key.

I will not call them laws; I will call them observed constraints.
I could climb it without much difficulty.
Freedom is the fluid swirl of a complex system obeying its mathematical laws.
Dignified persons do not climb it.

In my old country some people are remembering how to build the old walls.
Everything we build is subject to entropy.

First published in Creatrix 50, Septembeer 2020

For perspective

On a pale green wall
in electric sunlight
three china ducks
fly up and away

For perspective the leader
has been made small,
the last in line made large

They work their brown wings,
orange feet tucked,
blue faces stretched out
on white-ringed necks

Though they fly all day
and half the night
they stay in our murky sky

First published in Westerly 65(1), July 2020