‘Sort After’ Neighbourhood

Some say Valhalla is a vast hall full of smoke

and cloudy trophies; others plump for golden city,

 

walls of diamond, gleaming streets like burnished glass,

but what the inmates have to do, detained there

 

for eternity with klieg lights and no sleep

is anyone’s guess. Desert dwellers’ dreams of shade

 

construct a roof on pillars, like a Murcutt

cantilever or a garden house on steroids:

 

others posit an oasis, an Alhambra

where cool water never fails and fountains ring.

 

But what’s a kiosk with no jakes? What use is

Heaven if the ones refused admission

 

can’t be sent to some Nauru or Christmas Island

of the damned to keep the ignorant in bliss?

 

 

THE UNCLES AND AUNTS

MUCK IN FOR CHRISTMAS DINNER

 

 

The bulk of the bird

runs a scatty ellipse

spouting blood from the wreck of its neck.

Nearby one eye faces sky

and the other the ants.

 

Blue swimmer crabs clatter

trapped in the kerosene drum

as the garfish and bream

and the leatheries flap,

mouths agape in the boat

 

You’d swear from the racket it makes

that the pig knows what’s next

as the copper heats up.

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