A Philosophical Trialogue

When you’re a cabdriver you could be a cabdriver
Fifty years and after that you’re still—
But the old man kept speaking
Using the second person for some reason
—A passenger in a self-driving car
As you realised the night your foot got stuck
On the accelerator in a dead-end alley. Pity
The other passengers didn’t understand!

Then spoke the woman who used to dress up
At parties, whose clearance had been cancelled: Yes
You’re still a parcel shrouded in mystery
Wrapped with a ribbon the circle of children
Keep on retying…I tried telling them that’s not how it’s done
But they just wouldn’t listen
Not till I started talking in tongues
Then I had to show them it wasn’t funny.
And then she began removing her clothes.

And as I complimented her dance moves
The cabdriver and I merged into
The central lane of a three-lane road at once
And would no doubt have collided
As we sped for the same narrow unlit tunnel
But I performed a sudden and perilous U-turn
When a more attractive woman entered the room.

Nude Beach

A lioness in her cave below the sand dune
Beneath the apsidal arches of her lair
That lets in light from underground
From your eyes since you are looking at her.

And above the white sand joins the opal sky
So that the grass and the igneous formations
Seem coloured like coral
A cloud bank passes through it
Forming a path to nowhere, a neck
Resting a head that might be a girl’s or a boy’s
Just out of sight
Dreaming a dream of safety.

The Image of the Sovereign

To find the common measure between
A quarter of wheat
And an electronic funds deposit
Take the spindle from a spinning wheel
And pick your finger on it:
There is the image you saw in the mirror
And in your troubled dreams
Only stretched and pixilated
Summoning gleaners from far away
Grains swelling til even the most pedantic parrots
Blinking and pecking, pecking and blinking
Cannot focus on their meal.