The invisible enemy
Moving slowly like a river
Tearing into skin like the ubiquitous cut worm.
Flesh clinging to weak bones.
Radiation dulls its fury
It curls up and briefly rests.
Broken body lifts itself from the edge.
Just as the sun begats the rain
The invisible enemy circles again.
Turning the warmth to ice
Noodle bones no longer stand
Eyes glazed without hope
Beauty under dust, forgotten.
Like deadly Othello
Black fills the body
Bile all that escapes
The last year’s a monologue
One day the bed is empty.
Just another victory for the invisible enemy.
I saw the old man everyday
His garage door open
Revealing his untidy workshop.
This consisted of a workbench
And a never ending collection of jars,
Coffee jars, jam jars, pickle jars,
Each one full of screws, rusty nails, bolts.
Then there was a set of screwdrivers
An ancient hammer and an old coffee mug
Which he sipped from while surveying his handiwork.
Each day it seemed he would build more
New bookcases or storage cases.
He was never satisfied
Keeping his brain busy.
I imagined his wife inside the house
Humouring his hobby
Setting her mug down on a wobbly side table
And moaning affectionately about her husband’s handiwork.
One morning the garage door was shut.
Seemed he had taken a last sip of his tea
Turned the radio up
And shot himself square in the face with his old army pistol.
His last piece of handiwork
Cut and planed to perfection
Was the coffin in which they lowered him into the ground.
Into the sanctuary of her eyes I fall
All my life’s darkness is illuminated
A neon glow shows woe’s exit.
Heart beating faster than before
Emotions spilling out raw and uncensored
Truth wrapped warmly in love’s scarf
No pretence, no forewarning.
A passion never equalled
Cutting through history’s armour
The sun shining through a new day
A silence in the endless maelstrom.
One last gasp
Doubt slips away
The rest is music.
I awoke, a tiger.
The cage was open
But I stretched spun around and collapsed in a heap
Enjoying the sun on my fur.
I took some licks of water
And left the cage.
It was quiet.
I watched a snake slither towards a dead bird
The flies flew as he approached
Swear I hear his jaw click as the bird disappears.
Most of the cages are empty
Where did all the ‘exhibits’ go?
Is the city filling with a menagerie of mayhem?
Monkeys walking the streets like businessmen
Enjoying another banana?
I see a crowd around a body
Our god lays dead, keys in his rigor mortised hands.
At the end he gave us freedom
But we can’t know what to do with it.
By sunset we are back in our cages.
It’s all we know.
It’s all we understand.
It’s all we want.
Tar on the road
Car slips from its route
Does the dance of death and kisses the stop sign.
Parents lay silent in cheap vinyl seats
A changeling in the back weeps softly.
Petrol drips like a metronome
The vehicle flairs up.
All life eradicated
Ghosts on the highway.
He hit the car as I turned the corner.
First I knew I saw the windshield crack
Then a face appeared like a bloody Jack-O-Lantern.
Hands flew up, seemingly surrendering
I saw his nose spilt and head come apart like an over ripe melon.
I puked a little in my mouth
Then got out to survey the damage.
No noise, no breath.
I thought for a second
Then, realising there is no one about
I peeled him off the glass
And left him sprawled in the snow.
Then I suddenly had a pang of hunger
So I went to the fried chicken place
And filled my face with a tasty taco.
Last treat for a while
That windshield aint gonna come cheap.
Translucent body strewn across the highway
Heat escaping and sweating into the swollen tarmac.
Armadillo stops to stare at the bugs forming
A killer’s dance upon the corpse.
No shallow grave for the sinner.
Sun continues to beam down
Unaware of the callous murder.
Cars speed by, families singing, oblivious.
A stray dog stops and paws the flesh,
Suspiciously placing its teeth to the meat.
Here in the city, it’s the law of the jungle.