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Regime change is fashionable this year

Pawn topples king 















Nomenklatura Suras

The oldest river, cradle of civilisation
is now a drain. Eyes are just the lenses
for commemorative snaps.

Beside this rumour of water
more ideas are tortured away from problematic citizens,
the fools remain stupidly inquisitive despite all their schooling.

Naked in the desert, naked in their jobs — educated people
are running numbers, to survive. They fling their flattery
to peripherally bask beneath a uniformed sun.

No simple chore this ...
men carry doors on their backs
to ensure they are never opened.

With a smile over twitch, masters below masters procure —
perhaps avoid atrocity as they quietly suggest a gentler path.
Having family changes everything ... to endure is a pilgrimage.

Aromatic lamb on a bed of cous cous
stewed tea ... God's blessing of wise visitors
who paint & watch CNN. This is savage

but they are not savages. Like a mirror the fickle awes of sky
drop bombs. Regime change is fashionable this year.
There are efficiencies in the fictions of right.

The glee, that honest toil
of looting other lives.
Each tumble clears the view, just a bit.

Years are nothing, what's rebuilt doesn't work —
just as effortlessly as the dirty little system before
that so many died to defend.

But don't worry, time is a grader.
Alongside the quacking of historians
all mistakes will be buried under new initiatives.


Tabula Rasa

1. Time hangs around my place
like an errant friend who overstays, drives you mad
but then he leaves town & you grieve
for those moments of shambolic intimacy.

Can't be with him, maybe he's living in some community now
but I'm locked out of any gated communities,
still too young for retirement lifestyle villas,
too much of everything for lentils & the hippy drum.

Austerity breeds space,
space breeds foolishness which is precious.
Daniel smirks as I save the world. Ophelia says yes,
thinks loving is again possible.

There is no god, I will die.
Cultivate indifference
& a measured ethics that
even Cardinal Pell thinks will get us at heaven.

But I'm drunk again — with moment this week.
No one has been rescued.
The river's taxes spread the blame, my pains
like polite children fuster at my feet.

Above a colloquium of Pacific black ducks
I realise a jackhammer has been going on across the bay —
all morning. It is a small thing beside
remnant ideas & warming sun.

Mothers have rolled this day & are smoking it.
Hazard reduction is a universal goodity. Gilding the liver
we wear helmets to bed
our cloaks of haze are immortal.

This could (but won't) go on forever.
Local Rural Fire Service seems to have blended
a subtle mix of rum & feathers.
The secret is to peel a living from your skin.


2. Back home around the poker table ... Boredom
drinks your beer, has a take on everything.
A tottering Certainty is perennially bleak, he
needs a talking to.

Acceptance makes up the fourth, she's
already exhausted her stake
but has bet carefully & will go home
with small change in her pocket.

She lives in the past, but also in the present.
All our laughs come from her interjections.
That laughter is the real prayer
before this monstrance filled with bone dust.


Old hippies — the treasure box retained

Doddering Douglas walks into the fire,
pretty colours.

Terri has nosebleeds, a great beast
shot sunglasses
the glare of this hole-of-life psycho-dharma.
What is important
fluid dynamics, ripe thinkings in a techno sauce
chorus chorus
coffee, baklava.

Me too. That stoned, frightened kid is
still hanging around
& I can barely carry his pen.

Goa on MasterCard.
Space, the final fashion statement.
This is multitasking, this living.
Where's the celebrity if we're all aliens?
Psychedelic enough. Enough psychedelic,
we have spiritual leaders leaking out of our auras.

Facebook day out, I link about everywhere ...
find grace in 80s horror, that song
is now playing at everyone's funeral.
The more we die the bigger pest we become.

Lollies exponential.
Dolly on his trolley, sugar hitman
nothing left but money which
grandchildren mine from our musty pits.

I have so much love now
for everything but myself.
Adopted wisdoms from the 1950s
lubricate our decline ...
Molly, after four decades,
has learnt to do the ironing drunk.

Wait till the sales season — skin —
leather, designer brands, dirt cheap.
All start walking
into that.

Les WicksLes Wicks has been published across 19 countries in ten languages. His 11th book of poetry is Sea of Heartbeak (Unexpected Resilience). Les' website

Pawn topples king image from Shutterstock

Topic tags: Les Wicks, poetry



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