i) …in the big fish’s belly Jonah found: a black flag; a pair of worn out boots and three lucky charms; shreds from a blue, shining scarf; a list of pagan gods it is forbidden to worship; in a field, in a dream, the dance of two black-necked cranes; sunshine hidden in ears of corn; and an Egyptian spell to transform an angry god into an owl.
Among sailors at the edges of the world it is well known that there are whales with the transparent skin of icefish. They are known to swim through vast oceans of barely imaginable time.
Some lay claim to harpooning the invisible; some proclaim they are kings with the sun for a father; others merely wash their bloody fingers and murmur their innocence.
No-one believed Jonah. There was nothing to be seen. They demanded proof. He pointed to the invisible. Only poets understood.
Look in the eyes of an owl he told them. Each is its own world, full of unseen things. The icefish whale can be found there, it’s belly filled with the detritus of barely imaginable time.
But, everyone was afraid of the oceans of time and chose to stand instead in their own puddles, fingers pressed into their ears; sockets where once there were eyes.
napping origami god: a crib latticed with song; a boat spun from the manes of faeries; hedgehogs and rabbits pattering down a cloud; a nest filled with dew; silver spoons, golden spoons; rivulets; fishes laced in blue; light…scattered; a bowl of honeyed milk and a pinch of the breeze, whiter than snow.
…whilst lightly sleeping, origami gods are apt to dream up shopping lists. If, during deep sleep, they unfold completely then they will think of nothing but creases. But, our god (who has the shape of a heron in flight) is merely napping so a list it is.
The crib is for folding practices. If fortune smiles upon our god he may, perhaps, fold a baby. Or, he may unfold a map to see better the golden shore in which case a fairy boat will be a necessity.
The world of the folded is not unlike our own. There are clouds, fishes, birds, nests, milk and honey. And there are spoons for that honey: golden spoons for the favoured babies; silver spoons for the ones some gods might wish were still as smooth as paper.
The small beasts rarely venture from the clouds but if an unfavoured baby is brought to their attention they might patter down and raise the baby on honeyed milk. As everyone knows this is the only way for an unfavoured baby to sprout wings.
Thus are angels born of the unfavoured. Thus the world is made fair. Thus a dream resolves itself without fear and the heron god will thereby take flight…into the snow and the breeze.
got my head turning, beat/measure—silence still, quiet place in my heart—entropy codex /subject the subjective\ imagine the vessel—light pregnant meaning, touching [me, you] falling leaves, silent stream, rough bark of trees.
while your pillowcase softened with moonbeams i counted roses
in the glass jar i found a mermaid proudly wearing her smalls
as she saw me she slipped from her fish skin and became a tigress
before biting my hand she inquired about Satie’s 100 umbrellas…
…afraid of water she held her umbrella up to the rain. If her scales weren’t dry she wept dangerous tears, catching them in silver spoons before they touched her cheeks. She kept the tears in a bottle labelled ‘Salt Water’ and shivered when she touched them.
If you look from the window you will surely see her sat on the big rock. If the sun shines she may smile back at you. If it rains you will be invisible to her.
Whatever the weather she longs to be something other than herself. We are, none of us, so different you see.
Sometimes Alfred’s must be Erik’s. Sometimes mermaids must be tigers. Sometimes we just need to cover our scales with umbrellas.