The War At Easter

The milk tastes off in wartime
Clammy on the tongue 
Even when you are so distant 
You can hardly hear the metal bend
You make galaktoboureko
So thick the shape returns
Wondering why Easter
Falls in archaic calendars 
Each year on new days
As if martyrdom were inexact in its demands
I imagine Medea’s tears
In thick and sweet and distilled stains 
When she learned she ate her young
Time Is a wolf, you say
And in one deft hand
Break another egg

This poem is a war crime

The prisoners have butterflies for mouths

Teeth bared like burnt-out buildings

They say exactly what we want

– without undue coercion 

Just the slightest quaver

Of the jaw and throat

Where stubble hides the muzzled bruises

We lied, we are wrong

We came to drink your blood

These are eyes not camouflage

In haloes on our wings

Here the children have hands of bone

Bandannas over nose and mouth

In the stench they forgot somehow to sing

The sun is bright in vain

Inviolate on the mountainside

The studio has that flicker scent

Of blitzkrieg and cigars

when you are almost halfway up 

Back arched in trapezoid envy

The sky is less steady than it seems

Icarine- the too harsh blue

Of interrupted broadcasts

Looking up, we make new stars

Name them in bravado 

See the smithereens

Cascade in new intaglios

On the surface of the eye

Blink the warmth of tears

Gravity has an equivocal grip

When you are almost halfway down

Knuckles raw as dinosaurs

Feet arched in Quetzalcoatl torsions

Sending hubris, sending love

We will solve this war

Like a misheard refrain

That thick comforting savour 

Of something on the stove

Notes played and played and played again 

Til, despite what we have heard

What we hear is right

What  we  hear  now  has

Eternally been right

Politics in Wartime

I whistle in rough kin
To a camaraderie of magpies
They return trilled warnings in reply
As if to say you are no one 
That we know, a thief of songs
Pied and clumsy
As any bastard’s fledge
We dispute the global south
With that stalagmite part of speech
You say it depends
On which way you uphold the map
I say words
Are the same in any language
Pulling flames like petals from the edge
One for love, two for hate, and on
Til bare husks are left
Black and hard as any rasp
Cracked, with a little salt
Makes a beggarly repast
You say these things are
Almost the same
I say, halfway home
Smoke coiled between my lips
They are almost different