Who Stole the Tarts?

I know who stole the tarts
because I saw her – jam-smeared
mouth, red as a raspberry,
and fingers all sticky –
I saw her slipping out
into the garden, crumbs
trailing her.

I know who stole the tarts
because I met her
by the sundial,
where the roses
sun themselves,
all red and white,
and she smelt of sugar

and she was smiling.

In the house of the Duchess.

In the house of the Duchess
the Duchess sleeps
in a white room, dreaming
of lambs, whipped cream
and white gardenias,

while Alice flickers
like a flame
down endless

where the carpets
are soft white moss
on naked feet,

past the room filled
with spirals of blue smoke

and the one
where music tumbles
heedless, needless,
across the threshold,

past a row of mirrors,
reflecting Alice
like a ticking clock,
and all those
ice white
marble statues,
straining to move,

down endless twisting
stairs, past windows
that look out
on snowy lawns,

past the room
of purple tears,
and the one
where strange plants
coil and creep,

until, finally,
she leaves the scent
of lilies far behind.

Another ride on the mushroom.

Humpty Dumpty – RTMM

In this photograph, Alice
is sitting on the wall,
glossy hair tied back,
clearing her solemn face.

Looking at it now
she can remember being set there,
by two strong hands, gripping
her waist, over her tartan skirt,
swinging her up, effortless.

She can’t remember whose the hands were.
So many jolly uncles, laughing cousins.

Alice is not laughing. She
is contemplating flight.
If she jumped now, would she fall,
a great fall, crashing down,
crumpling like a broken doll?

Or would she soar
upwards, white socks and patent
leather shoes skimming
the tree tops, white blouse
bright for a moment
against the clouds?

For Riding the Magic Mushroom. Humpty Dumpty is the prompty dompty.