today, I listened to the sound
the world makes
under the waves, a deep note,
a bass-line, and at the root of it
an old pulse, the echo
of earthquakes

it lies in my throat, sleeping
until you speak it out:
so does it hone the edge
of my voice, sometimes a hook
casting out to catch it all

how I trawl the seas
until I drown, like fishermen,
light beneath the surface.


a european funeral

she wanted more than his old suit
with all its histories of burials
and rage, too much spillage, stains
of fish-paste sandwiches, red wine, brotwurst,
and tears when the drink takes over from reason,
a wake, a different culture
and a voice on the phone.

at the other side of nation states
and languages, the words
bind up her nakedness in shrouds
of testaments and torn hair
collected round her deathbed; all those miles
away from Prague.

his eye’s on the clock

the city’s chime, news of morphine

she’s given up on resurrection
of the body, how her old skin
can’t wait for precious oils
and formalin, a chest
of fine oak, like her man’s old wardrobe
with its locked-up hoard of trousers, shirts,
the scent of bootpolish and old cologne
after the war, she stitched all the seams
“you never know when people die
or marry. your suit might do as well
for both – the price of shirts
and then silk ties are never in the store
for all the tokens in the nation.
go to Paris or America for that.”

the border’s downtown

passport. visa. vaccination.



a word again from David Rose

this island rose - video

See also Dave Rose's story - "The Evangelist's Apprentice"

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