You were different for three evenings,
once we’d slunk across stones
baked a day in the Med sun
and slipped into water.
You had scales and lungs.
You sucked on oxygen,
swayed the palms -
I could feel your air, poolside.

These glossy summer evenings
had you flooded,
and it suited you.

If I went now to your bed,
perhaps I would find scales
in your sheets.
I think of this looking
up to a disc-moon,
huge and silent,
in hot night air
while you pause your lungs

Brother, how human you might really be.

Louise Essex

Laotian Prophecy

Who owns all these beautiful faces?
Nothing but skylines of mountains to frame them.
I would like to get to know them
But not through window-display glimpses,
Or purchases of museum exhibition tickets.

Just to stop and say, sabai di
And let some of their sanguine serenity,
Wash through me.
Children proudly displaying efforts, from a hunt,
Can’t quite make out each tiny cadaver,
Past the jostling seats in front.
Luckily the air-flow has started again.
And my aches are relieved by the perfect scene.

Even scribbles would be too disturbing,
Upset the slipping roads,
And cause a fall.
So I write with one thumb only,
It takes almost total concentration,
Just to absorb it all…

Elspeth Vischer

My Favourite Place

So I'm home
and my address book's full of ghosts
just friends of friends and dying trends
and old minds left to coast
The once close knit ships are passing in the day.

The house of hospitality
becomes a house of animosity
Mondrian bricks with a grey interior,
playfully misguide the oblivious visitor.
comfort food fails to take away the edge
of an atmosphere as strangling as the prelude to a June storm.

Clocks and watches once on display,
Join daily clutter of disarray
Aesthetic or eye sore?
And the furniture doesn't rearrange so easily anymore.

A world of pure imagination
becomes a dull, dire, degeneration
as the hazily recalled notes
ring through silent walls, once soaked in Sinatra.
I wish I knew less than I do,
to remain neutral
when the mood is putrid.

Lewis Foster