I’m driving to stand outside my mother’s house

and the radio’s talking
about locusts
blunt heads, big eyes

clouds of hunger,

swarms plagues storms

and I wonder,
how heavy is a locust?
a single locust?
skin crisp and shiny
emerging from itself

yellow is such an ugly colour

and the rattle of wings –
how does that sound?
billions of wings, beating
and billions of mouths,
too much,
and all those thin legs,

For Brendan at earthweal, who has given us the theme of “Strange World”. It does seem like we are getting down to some pretty fundamental stuff at the moment. Fire and flood and plague and locusts eating East Africa. Things are off kilter, to say the least.

Unlike my mother

I always eat cherries straight from the bag –
brown paper smudged with juice – I risk
the stain. I pour milk from the carton.
I grab at life.

I spill things in my rush. I’m grass-stained,
snag-nailed, over-booked, laughing at myself.

I can’t make cakes.



For Misky’s Twiglets. 

NaPoWriMo 13 – Ghazal

The Earth

We are the children who worship the face of our mother the earth
And under our nails is the mark of the love of the earth.

In the warmth of the sun in the spring we plant seeds,
Seeds that will grow in the love and the heart of the earth.

Our fingers push into the deepest and darkest of spaces,
The moist, the warm secret gaps in the heart of the earth.

We sing to the rain, as a gift that will come and will quicken
The life in the heart and the flesh of our mother the earth

The worm and the ant are her children too, we remember,
And the blade of the spade is a prayer that we make to the earth

The dandelion flaunts herself, gold in the grass, in the
Crown that is twisted and weaved for the brow of the earth

And we bend and we bow as we worship her beauty,
Our sister, our maker, our mother, our lover, the earth.