Thursday, December 01, 2005


He’s peddling in his little metal box,
listening to Enya on a tape.
He can see the world out the window,
all blues and greens, and the white spiralled atmospheres
clearer and more beautiful than anything on earth,
like watching a child take
her first steps. The music fills him.
He misses people.
He feels like the last man
not on earth.

If he doesn’t pedal, his bones will shrink
ten percent a month, his muscles
will waste away. So he’s peddling for his life.
There is no post, no junk mail.
His mom wont call, to remind him to
wrap up warm. There’s condensation
in the capsule. It’s tiny too-
you get stir crazy.

He’s bicycling and bicycling and bicycling
on and on and on, not getting anywhere at all,
and Enya sings her lullabies in his ear
but the world revolves under him
as he bicycles round it every twenty minutes
and sometimes it feels like there’s an
invisible chain from his bike to the world
and he’s making it turn with all the pedalling.

The earth is all alone with its
beautiful seas and its lightning
that makes the clouds glow
like a disco far away and he remembers
the people walking
coming and going over the cobbles of the big square
and the GUM department store -
and if he pedals they’ll keep on walking
and with Enya in his ear he can keep on pedalling.

Published in 'The Like of It' Baring & Rogerson 2005


The tincture of distilled elk-musk
rises from the Universitate labs late evening
and drifts towards the jagged tripytch formation of stratus:
silverback, eglantine, streaked with coal-dust.

And the slope of a bridge arcing high into rivermist
whose far end disappears into the rainbow
of its fluvial histories;
here the escutcheon of the East India Company,

there the spice warehouse that paid
for the Stalinist palace of arts –
and silence too, lying on the waters,
snared in the ripples of a distant fog horn.

published in 'The Like of It' Baring & Rogerson 2005