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Parts of us 

We are not born with shadows. They are clambering weeds
That crept up on us while we were not looking
They do not follow us – we follow them 
Wondering if there are barbs as well as seed-heads.
Shadows take over whole paddocks of our childhood
But that is not to say there is comfort in numbers:
We had to learn to count.
The eyes are faulty interpreters. They pretend to know
The language but do not listen to accents
And are too confident for their own good.
Stop! But I did not stop,
Neither did you. Some things
Exist purely for the sake of rhetoric.
Some things simply call attention to themselves
Or merely demand attention.
We are not good at obedience.
The tongue is a reckless speliologist,
It is quite unaware of confinement
And is perpetually eager to discover Lascaux.
The ears are trapdoor spiders
Until the bulldozer clears the paddock
And leaves all our cleverness buried in rubble.
Bulldozers are mobile phones before technology
Crept into our side-pocket.
Never ask the nose for solutions.
Solutions are once upon a time
And smell is older than that.
Smell takes more getting used to
Than the thought of a stranger’s excrement
in the corner of your own living-room
right on the carpet.
Laughter has thorns on the underside
But it has green leaves that shine in the dark.
You smiled once. I caught it and held it in my hands
Even though the wind was blowing in my face.
Tears are dry colours pretending to be a rainbow:
They own nothing but you can’t tell them that.
Did I commit a sigh? Breathing is always dangerous,
It is like a telephone message in a foreign language
One that you think you once knew.
That was not a baby’s cry
It was the electrical impulse surfacing from far underground
Warning the reptile brain of the death of ancestors.
Strange how the skin is not party to the brain’s confidences.
It tells its own story and is never truthful.
But what is truth? All things are relative
And the brain is the least reliable of witnesses.
To ask questions is to act interrogator.
The witness box has many exits
And witnesses for the prosecution
Are not always going to get the colour right,
That is, if there really is a colour.
The location of God is in the navel.
The umbilical cord has been severed.
We are on our own.
Bones wait. It is not that they have any patience
With calendars. They remember too much, they hoard things,
And when all is said they know there is no last word.
Hair tells us we once loved.
Hair is almost impossible to manage
And yet it manages us most of the time.
Hair is the underside of a cloud’s imagination
But, caught in the mouth, it brings us down to earth
Like a shower sink-hole after shampoo.
Did I say we are born without shadows?
And you believed me?
The word ‘dance’ is on my lips
But dance involves music
As if music can be notated.
Notation is the mark of our failure.
It is our mark.