Living with Sieve


my words fall through a gully

plunge straight

as Wallaman Falls

splash deep shadowed ponds

to get your attention


yours dabble through a plain

by a river delta, the braids

of your thoughts spread wide

collecting in puddles

that evaporate

before they find the sea


my words plunge

through rock fissures

only speleologists might find

infuse for eons

with minerals and gas


yours recondense

as rain

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Splintered Viking Boat Song


this is not

about Ragnar, or shot

in blue celluloid (max hyperised gore)


woad doesn’t come into it

or Yorkshire graveyards / horizontal corpses


an invocation sung in Kernewek

for fishermen, misses

its point (Poseidon’s prong drips blood /

widows weep salt in paintings)


it’s not

the dirge of left-hand piano drills

(Volga’s men rolling over

calloused palms, roll over)


this is

driven song / bitumen river

solitary immigrant HOG

lantern skew / gust slap / siren eucalypt


keening for 382 fissured kilometres

1800cc / vertical



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Local bus from Tampere to Helsinki


As I board, the driver

asks for my passport

like he already knows

we will travel to another country.


Along straight highways

lakes shimmer under power lines.

Silver birches shake yellow leaves.

Dark clouds come with rain.


Beside me a young man reads

Learning Vietnamese in Finnish.

For a change of mood he keeps

Naomi Klein, steady on his lap.


I open the Kalevala (in English)

to read of other journeys here;

older ways of seeing this land.

And learn, in repetitions of three


in case you didn’t get it the first

or the second time around, there’s

a mortal cost to not saying out loud

the name of the thing that you want.

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