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Brander & McGuire Page


rat, man and cheeseburger

it came
through the ventilator fan
high on the wall

big old brown rat
bold as business
through the stilled blades
to check out the diner

right behind you the rat
as you ate your cheeseburger

i said nothing
looked at the rat
rat looked at me
one species to another

yo rat you old scavenger
yo human
same goes back to you

and then with a twist
and a flick of the tail it was gone
back the way it came

maybe it was something
i didn't say
or maybe
the cheeseburger

ducking & bobbing

walked the streets today
with the ducking bobbing
halloween apple

and ducked and bobbed

to an empty room
an empty chair

and a slow seepage
of dead poemdust
beneath the door

sliver of moon
howling obscenities
outside the window

considered life
as a long slow

breath given
then taken away
puff by puff

until you
puff your last
and all is darkness

considered darkness
as a return
to a womb

no longer containing
the risk of life
no longer threatening

the ducking and bobbing


you put a toe in the ocean
and found it cool

sucked your toe
enjoyed the taste of salt

so you went swimming
but swimming only got you so far

you built a boat
to row to the islands on the horizon

and found them barren rocks
covered with gullshit

but from the islands
you saw a new horizon

and wondered
what its grey line concealed

so next was a ship
and you crewed it

with ratbait
from the harbour

sailed off
beyond all the horizons

discovered new lands
new continents

met interesting new peoples
and gave them your diseases

came back
with grokomile and snargleweed

(which later destroyed
your native species)

and still there beckoned
the taste of salt

so you built a bigger better ship
and rounded up the usual ratbait

then sailed in a different direction
right off the edge of the world

the truth about man

the truth about snakes
is they crawl along the ground
and some of them are poisonous

the truth about jellyfish
is they live in the sea
and some of them are poisonous

the truth about spiders
is they are arachnids
and some of them are poisonous

the truth about scorpions
is they are not arachnids
and all of them are poisonous

the truth about man

i leave to the spiders and the jellyfish
and the snakes and the scorpions


cold light of morning
old light of day

old as the sun's
inexorable dawning

cold as a prayer
no man can pray

are you back old foe
with your endless fawning?

back to wheedle
my dreams away?

keli's haiku

seaweed on the beach
cannot know the sea's sorrow
or the scream of gulls

rainbow angels

where rainbow meets earth
the angels lie sleeping

no pot of gold here
but folded wings and peace

when rainbow's hazed glory
fades from the sky

the angels awaken
their brightness ascending

and recalling their dreams
fly off to meet them

fire dream

flames leap bright
from the facade
of a fine old house
that never was

no children were born
no lives were lived
no laughter rang
in the rooms that never were

and now it is burning
with delusion's flames
a pyre of dreams
that never will be

supply & demand

roses are all you want
buttercups all i can give
common flowers divide us


once i flew the sky at will
searching for the new day's kill

captive now and tamed i stand
slaved to the hunter's feeding hand

in pride i ask you to forgive
the thought that you may one day live

the woeful, pitiful excesses
of one who knows the hood and jesses