Hail the latter-day Columbus, mastering the angles
for the voyage. And as quick as the pencil turns,
darting through solution after wave,
as peerless thought glides in and wills
a course, destiny and destination
are somewhat intertwined. We admit,
at least in the mind, that daydreams
belong to those inclined to dream
more so than those whose years
have greater certainty, guaranteed
without life’s need for uncharted hope.
Look how before life’s film embroiders
dust from silent motes, a passenger
beside you speaks darkly of glittering days,
devout tomorrows already knowing
ending and plot, her laugh shutters into the wind.


‘Is it your last day on Earth,
or everyone’s last day?’
Facing the final knell and breath
she sends forth bloodlust, death wishes,
siren song of the offering end: a take-down,
not a few. Seizing that coup de grĂ¢ce, she dwells
on that momentary unzipping
when those corseted inhibitions
unfold with naked pride.
Ends would be burnt worthwhile,
shameless rage dashed cheek red
with a splattering of right.
Take a tour around the closet, though,
where hangs an abundance of vengeance
organised by fabric, size and sin,
a precious, mirror-tested catalogue
she now dips in and pivots, testing the
glimmer of this dream attire
between the merest suggestion
of a hanging pause.
‘I would kill all my enemies.’
(Haters gonna hate.)


Waiting behind the rail’s safety, the crowd
nibbles curiously with boasting breath.

They have come prepared for the volcano, burst
or bust. Its open mouth will foam at the lip

or fail to delight and remain jutting earth,
bruised earth, such sacred excitement.

Vicarious: broken up into its fragments, the thought
a sound of contradictions, vie, care, us, almost

violence. Living through others means always
starting at the mountaintop and coaxing forth

its hot-blooded essence. Faith that it goes to plan,
begging for a performance worth applauding

pleasure in their little souvenirs, bragworthy
totems, a photo, a shard, air-dried tears.

While the spout yawns and quivers back to silence
spent from its furious trial, while they offer

postcards and mementos as proof that scratching
at the ground, it too can be ripped apart

for entertainment, the watchers all depart to spend
their joy, this secondhand delight until tomorrow.

Then others return to fill spaces and play parts
requiring promises and threats alike, a new chance

to boast the mountain into action.
Even the wind, between breaths, is gloating.

(November/December 2016)