Watch the wretched rain
pelt your window pane.
Just when you are about to go out
to the department store.
You are sure the weather man
did not predict such a down pour.
But you only have to dash to your car
from your front door,
drive into town through the wretched rain.
You pass a homeless man huddled
in a sodden sleeping bag.
Okay so he should have looked after himself like you did,
as you pop in and out of a shop and drive home,
leave him to hear the wretched rain
gurgle down a grid.
After a coffee in the kitchen you feel a little better,
glad to be sheltered and dry, free of the wretched rain.
The homeless man is forgotten but you will see such sights again.
Lone lost ones try to sleep on cold stone beds in the wretched rain.
Turn Backward Keys
You cannot get back there,
not to your childhood.
You cannot run to the fish pond,
be told not to fall in,
when world was the school yard
and the end began to begin.
You can glimpse the gate to the garden,
hear cries over the wall,
but you can only walk by
for you know too much now
and you are too tall.
O my, you loved it when all spun round right.
Now you dig the dark earth
in search of a lamp,
but the day is dim, there’s not enough light.
If you got back there,
you would want to stay,
till you saw all those who were there with you
have all grown, gone away.
Windows and harbours, bell towers and trees,
things that enchant you become turn backward keys.
But there’s something you always knew, anyhow,
the best time is now.
The Heron and the Crocodile
The heron finds the crocodile a convenient raft.
Perched on its back, it looks pleased to be ferried
slow down the mud brown river.
In the luxuriance of the light,
its eyes desires to see the flash of a fish below its beak.
The crocodile would eat anything that moves with flesh.
Unaware of the heron, it could not turn its head quick enough
to snap at it and devour it, anyway.
The heron knows this, has learned that the best place to perch
to be safe from the crocodile
is on the middle hump of its bloated, hard scaled back.
Stay close to your enemy to keep an eye on him
could be the motto of the heron.
Thus the heron seems happy to use the crocodile as river transport
to increase the pleasantness of its life as a fresh water fisher,
a bird of the inner plains of Africa.
From the twisted branch of a stunted tree,
vultures watch the heron float by on the back of the crocodile.
A familiar sight, part of the predator pattern,
they do not bother the heron.
The swim path of the crocodile
is obstructed by a bathing hippopotamus.
A shimmer of the scales of a fish in the reeds
alarms the alertness of the heron.
The heat of the sun is fierce over the lion land.