landscapes II

what do you see in your landscape?
under the browns and greens and
brick and stone?
the people mining?
the underwater rivers carrying off the dead?
tunnels, caverns?
echoing chambers?
choirs of burrowing worms
clambering and clawing between the rocks
and soil?

it’s dark isn’t it?

rain trickles down through the cracks
forming invisible waterfalls
some as thin as threads of mycorrhizal fungi
others mighty as volcanic vents
and voices from the floating dead
they pass through this subterranean world
without a care it seems
for the light has been extinquished from their eyes
the sun exhausted
demons and gods quelled in the name of death
coal face and pick axe
pit props and shaft air
warm like exhaled breath
and then

they are no more
and this is no more

and we are gone
called for
ushered on to a new beginning
somewhere bright where fake angels sing
or somewhere warm and comforting
where we can be free
and the conversation is carried on


(in the light of day I decided to edit – a little)



the journey had been long and wearisome but uneventful
despite his illness
the black cab taxi ride to the airport
the flight across the unseen Atlantic above the clouds
where looking down he swore he saw angels waving

coming in to land and taking off again
transferring from one side of the continent to the other
well almost
the hire car and motels and people
the prescription drugs that kept him going

the roads narrowed and became less inhabited
the scattering of local tribal dwellings petered out
no more tarmac only dust
he drove as far as his Chevrolet Spark would take him
until the front left wheel wedged in a rut

he hiked the rest
knew where he was heading
for he had been here some years before
had recced the terrain and its possibilities
before the illness came

and there it was the cave on the hill
the gaping mouth begging for sustenance
in this dry and parched sonofabitch badland
where the desert-thorn drew blood from his passing hand
and the crows cawed, rattled and clicked

like I’m in a Western  movie he thought
stumbling into an ambush in a rocky ravine
he stopped by a silty stream and listened to the echoes
they were whispers of wind, dust, water and spirits
helloo he cried

helloo came the reply
but there was no-one there
his strength was almost spent
his race almost run
must make the cave he said outloud

must make the cave
and when finally he slumped inside its jaws
a great weight was lifted from his shoulders
no  more pills or food or worry
just memories and his fate with the birds

this was the way to meet one’s maker
wherever and with whomever that might be
the journey would be swift and serene
the sound of footsteps approaching
her hand forever holding his

this dream of death
this deathly reality
this wish
this wish

only you

a thread of cloth on a desert-thorn bush
below a steep incline down which the wind whispered

only you
only you
only you can find him

a spot of blood on a yellow grass blade
beside a narrow track of trampled dust that whispered

only you
only you
only you can find him

a print of a foot by a damp silty  stream
beyond a rocky ravine where the water whispered

only you
only you
only you can find him

a call from a crow in the sun blistered sky
above a high lonely cave where the spirits whispered

only you
only you
only you can find him

a hand reaching out to his parched pallid cheek
a finger that runs across his cracked swollen lips


you found me then? – yes I found you
but how? – a thread of cloth, a spot of blood
I caught my hand on the desert-thorn – a footprint
by the stream? – and the crow that called to me
the crow? – the spirits
I came here to die – yes I know you did
why did you come? – because you wanted me to
I couldn’t ask you – I know you couldn’t
I thought I could do it on my own – I know
I thought you didn’t love me anymore – I never stopped
will you stay? – until the end
then leave me to the birds? – I will my love
you will? – yes I will.


😢😢😢😢 Haiku

Leave no trace behind

Take only what you came with

Feed me to the birds