This desert was a drunk a thousand years ago,

a dilatory stormgiver of coughs.

Immortal epitaphs carved out in its dunes

shone through a parchment of complacent necks

bowed in prayer for freedom

for our nostrils, o lord.

A terse aphorism rising as a mist

over the Hebrides, mistaken for thrones

or crosses, or

most likely noughts.

Thus spoke the Fearless Cunctator


and would his volatile calligraphy

perish in abominable waters of oil-rich

perpetual villains?

Oh, how it would.

Water to water a sentry of fish

-eyed marvels have blessed with pontifical foam

ancient communications of waves.

Oh, divine spirit!

Their fins were coarse as their

sparing compliments, their hearts

were beating with marble precision

and the calculated cooing of pariahs

filled their splattered veins.

A mountain presented a different challenge

that no falcon fathomed, and so

no eagle entertained.

And this was their end.

Meanwhile the fish things outlived their eons

in god’s blinking forgetfulness.

Old, old age, you see.

In these woods, my hands were oaks

of wisdom always bound by ink

and you were leaves and stems and butterflies,

as we learned geography by heart

and a map of lonely planets.