The proselytyzing young at my door
I can no longer be kind to them
children shouldn't wear their parents' clothes
it is enough that they carry our blood
the immigrants conducting surveys on the phone
once I put myself in their shoes
and answered generously now I hang up the old way
I strike the king with his sceptre
and the poor spill like ants from the wound

When the heart ... when the heart has become
a patrol car in a bad neighbourhood
splashing slow crimson
on cracked windows
or Cicero's face, flushed in anger,
Cicero who wrote
"My longing for books increases
along with my hatred of everything else"
majesty's diminished, the gallop
dies in the hoof, the salmon's
spawning ground's
an ashtray littered
with the ground-out red
of butt-ends. And yet
there's a godhead without a god
a harder faith, neither in man
nor man's salvation: it sees
emptiness and names it
it sees pain and feels it
it knows beauty
and does not turn away
with an acculturated yawn.

Every bird, unbeliever,
nailed to the cross
of its flight.