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


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