Voyaging under the cool arc of midnight
On a ship that was a star
Or clinging to a broken spare
Where the jewelled archipelago sings:
Little peewit, little peewit, what's your name?
Little master, little master, Red Legs.

I am Louis Wain, madman and artist,
Famed painter of cats.

I am Père Tanguy, my cellar full of Cézannes,
Sitting for Vincent.

I am myself, praising Whitman,
In forma pauperis.


Finch, finch, sing your green song
Out of the sky-roads
Your bright cousins come,
Snow, lazuli or painted
Buntings with plumes of flame.


Theseus took a thread
While I had none:
I spun a rope of crystal
And threw it at the sun.

A venue des Hirondelles
To the walled garden
Where I could not go.


Butcher bird, butcher bird
Dive on the mocking bird
Fasten her wings
On the nails of a tree.
Gorge on the delicate
Meat of her mockery
Gouge out her eyes
So she cannot see.

My son's coloured ball
Is patterned with Saturn's
Nine moons: through the haze
Of a June day a golden
Oriole nests in an ebony tree.
When our son sleeps
My mind is rinsed
In the canals of Mars
Scarlet, orange and paradise tanagers
With plumes of stars.