A Biology of Shadows



the earth’s yellowed viscera,

smeared against the morning sky,

drowned the tired sun in nicotine fog


Argus’ eyes, no longer prone to sleep,

grinned red rays into the 7 o’clock swarm

streams of headless forms, colums of susurrating blood

(not quite people, not quite shadows)


the annihilating silence spread like a shroud

feeding on borrowed gold and borrowed time

selling empty shells and mortgaged futures


burning, burning, burning


back in the white hall, voices echoed

the sterile comfort of sameness

the weightless absence of honesty


while the red caryatids (with tragic beauty)

smiled their rehearsed smiles

unmoved by the buzz of the birds’ warnings


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the undergrowth is restless

the seer has read the entrails of the lie :

one, five, ten, seventeen -

the sequence will unfold


precarious roots will twine upwards

swirling, sizzling, unwavering

stifling stone-deaf walls into crystalline dust


transforming cold symbols into mutual aid

as the slanted orange rain bows to the inevitable :

the empire is tired, its armour weak


after black blocks, red zones and white lies

a sparrow will emerge from this wound

tearing away the masks of consent, separating


substance and value

hope and distrust

viscera and illuminated skin


I approach the shadow

And make the cut