• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 07


Your glasses are all wrong, my optometrist said,
but I can give you a new pair of eyes.
Yes it’d be a bargain, but I baulked and frowned.

Where do you look when your mother’s face
you cannot remember? And yet ―
what’s there to remember if the world’s going to end?

Music on my lap but I cannot hear:
I hold my conscience lightly, almost gingerly,
as if any moment it’ll reorganise my fear.

The whence and the wherefore, the who and the how,
keep hiding panicking metabolising,
while soldiers go heroing their country away.

Time was you’d drape sackcloth over your head
whenever there were two rainbows and three moons,
even if you couldn’t find ashes to scatter, or to tomb.

I’ll put up with my obsolete glasses, and won’t pine for
the new eyes ― those who believe they’re far-sighted,
will soon find out there are no fairies in our world.

The whence and the wherefore will test and tax and tag
and you will beg and break and bless, until
the rainbows, the moons, the variegated colours,

the intentions, the promises, the erasures and
all the optometrical finesse agree to stand aside,
to let in one last heaving breath from nowhere fast.



Yes keep your eyes shut ― that’s what I’ll say ―
don’t chance your luck! But I’ll swallow my words,
and let silence speak, and let silence speak, and let....