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Authors: Chrissie Gittins

Stars in Jars (9 page)

BOOK: Stars in Jars
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NYNY

Beware,

I

have

New York

in my eyes.

Balconies with a

closed lid of snow,

two poached eggs in

a cup, the flash of

static as my finger

hits the Chrysler tower.

A lift flying eighty

floors in less than

a minute, a lift

which never comes,

an unflushable toilet,

a toilet which

flushes when I open

the door. A window

from my room looks

into an opposite room –

a woman wears

antennae to watch

TV. A tall man with

wide Halloween hair,

black lenses in his

eyes, bends low to

kiss his small pale

girlfriend on the

forehead. The snow

is stacked in mountain

ranges at the end of

each sidewalk.

Care is needed to get

across to the other side.

Night Sky in the Clun Valley

for Vincent

The sky is throwing out woks,

The moon is munching bananas,

The stars wear sparkly socks,

The planets are harbouring llamas.

World Secrets

The people of Hungary have huge appetites,

Romania has no space at all,

Newfoundland has yet to be discovered,

In Trinidad the fathers have a ball.

You won't find a telegraph wire in Poland,

Armenia is full of generous souls,

In Russia the men walk slowly,

The houses in Andorra don't have doors.

In Finland no one eats fish,

Minnows are eaten by Wales,

In Turkey they prefer chicken,

In Sardinia, a piece of toast never fails.

In Germany all children are squeaky clean,

In Greece they cook with olive oil,

In Cuba the people are very round,

Iceland is a country always on the boil.

Chile is the place for jumpers,

In Korea everyone gets ahead,

In Jersey they wear cardigans,

In Kuwait they've given up

and

gone

home

to

bed.

Krakatoa Meets Popocateptl

If Krakatoa could slide into the Indian Ocean,

fly over Angola,

sail the Atlantic,

glide into the Gulf of Mexico –

it could exchange pumice and gas

with Popocateptl.

Or, Popocateptl could

dive into the Pacific,

bypass Papua New Guinea,

slip between Java and Sumatra

and lavish ash and lava

on crackling Krakatoa.

As it is they stay exactly where they are,

keeping an eye out for each other's

belching smoke, spewing jets of fire;

keeping an ear out for an explosion

louder than an atom bomb;

and watching the stars,

which sometimes, not wanting to be left out,

throw silver-plated meteors at them.

River Torridge

I knew the river hid

behind the bank,

lying, like a length of silk,

stretched between the willows.

The surface ripped,

something dived –

gone too long to be a bird.

Weasel head above the water,

down he went again,

a flash of oily fur.

He swam up beside,

this time he stayed,

looking at me straight.

I walked to keep his pace.

I loved his length –

his tail his body,

his body his tail,

his tail the river's length.

We moved together

through the wind,

along the river's course.

Another dive,

I skimmed the current,

searching for his guise.

He'd gone on alone.

I felt him though,

gliding through

the river's strength.

Moon Jelly Fish, Horniman Museum

Handkerchiefs of jelly fish

flex across azure blue,

sculling up the tank

like fragile umbrellas

bowed against a storm.

Pulsing downwards,

followed by clouds of ribbon legs,

their mushroom rims

fold open, fold closed.

Hung with a string of fibre optics

they turn inside-out, ragged,

hovering next to each other

to puzzle over the lack of shore.

The Humpback's Wail

For Gothic Mede Lower School, Arlesey

For twenty hours I sing my song,

my body arched, my head hung down.

I sing for her to come along

and swim up close beside me.

She'll love my sound,

my clicks and squeaks,

my lilting moans,

my squeals and creaks.

She'll immediately appreciate

the trouble I take

to vary my song

as it flows through the deep.

Barnacled like me,

she'll have lumps and bumps,

a slip-slapping tail

and a wild beauty.

We'll stay in warm waters

while our baby is born.

Come to me soon,

don't leave me lovelorn.

BOOK: Stars in Jars
2.73Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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