Strange Fruit Hanging from the Coven Tree

I envy paranoids; they actually feel people are paying attention to them.

Susan Sontag


What is an ear

else receptacle for folly?

Which may sounds

yet caress

spoke out inner loneliness


Innate desire for

an eardrum echo

showing least some

fragile warmth

in a cold, stark world


A brief reverberation

with another Soul

midst the vacuum

of many, many days

… … Hush now, hush…


Some meagre


of pilgrims passing

as ships on a dark

and foggy night


A deafening silence

abounds in the mist

tendrils wound so

very tight, in pride

and, wounded therein


A gypsy’s purse

which has no more gold

shaken from all

the crystal balls

held in each wandering caravan


The camp fire glows

warm and oft cackling

pitched between wagons

as the weary traveller

espies the hidden truths


All the gin in the world

can’t keep the djinns

of febrile dreams

at bay for ever

they seep, you see


Under the trellises

and patterned rugs,

into the moccasins

and between the toes,

tickling feathers


In the gathering mists

creeping quiet over thresholds

and under doors

to soft whisper,

whisper of magic


Down tunnel time

pinched sand glass tight

squeezed and corseted

with all the stays

and ivory bones


Kept cauliflower crinoline

pressed with starch over stars

in the cupboard

under the stairs

and wrapped with a most precious, bow


Boxed in treasure chests

sealed with dead man’s keys

never to come back

from cathedra Coventry

where he dost belong


The unclean, the untouchable

has no larynx

to make a sound

cut knifing out

with a nosey grindstone


And all his

forget-me-not dreams

are tongue tied

and cosseted

now dying with roses


Pillows such as these

billow in the wind

of net curtains

pulled fast against eyes

watching from streetlights


All the tears that glisten

to dew dress mourning

fill waxen ears deep

listening to knots

tied in the minefield minds


All the soldiers on parade

standing to attention

but yet ill at ease

parade in the pomp

of the profoundly deaf


Their language of signs

is all fingers and thumbs

which no mudras can free

where dancing hands

cast only shadow pictures


On the screen of

inner screams

unvoiced Punch and Judy

have long sat in jury

to gammel home, justice


On such juniper days

it is difficult to bury

the sacred hatchet

despite a proffered skull

asking only alms


And all the gin in the world

can’t keep the djinns

of febrile dreams

at bay for ever

they seep, you see … …

… … they seep