Soul Lights

detail from Experiment with an Air Pump by Joseph Wright



Perhaps she is just a chimera,
Or otherwise born with this curious guise;
For everytime that I’m near her,
I cannot but help to look into her eyes.
Perhaps she has suffered a trauma,
Where blood is now staining her iris tattoo
That partially came to transform her,
With one eye of hazel, the other of blue.
And further, her hazel is golden
Encircling her iris, but greener beyond.
Her stare surely has me beholden,
Her pupil eclipsing its het’rochrome pond.
No contacts nor tumours nor ’Shop-tricks
Are needed to give them what rarely occurs.
If souls can be glimpsed in our optics,
Then softly she carries a rainbow in hers.


Some of you might notice that I’ve used this picture before.  It used to be adorning Contract of Contact, until I found a better image for that poem.



Thy Name is Edom

The Last Supper
detail from The Last Supper by Carl Bloch


Thy Name is Edom

Judas in paintings is often the one
Who’s sporting the bright carrot hair.
What does this signify, why was this done ?
For redheaded Jews were exception’ly rare.
Maybe he dyed it with henna, of course,
For most nat’ral gingers were Celtic or Norse,
So who were the genealogical source
Of Judas Iscariotson ?


Edom has nothing to do with Judas, being the brother of Isaac in Genesis, but his name means ‘red’ in Hebrew.



Trans-Galactic Relations

amazon women
still from Amazon Women on the Moon


Trans-Galactic Relations

How will love fare on a far, strange planet ?
Something tells me, just fine.
Astronauts are after all as human as the rest,
On those long and lonely voyages to Sigma Ceti Nine.
It really doesn’t matter how Control attempts to plan it –
Some eventualities are harder to decline,
And improvised solutions are unlikely to be guessed
Until that fateful moment when our instincts come online.

Then to the fore comes ambiguity,
When foreign incongruity’s the only game in town.
But, when it comes to promiscuity,
Then human ingenuity will never let us down.

We are the pioneers
Across the galaxy we plumb
We are the copuleers
We boldly go and boldly come

So Human-Alien exchanges probe
To grasp a firmer bond –
Exploring green and grey and blond,
Until enquiring ends combine
In intimate communion.
We’ll scout each sucker, fin and lobe,
And softly test how they respond
To fingers from the great beyond –
And arms and tentacles entwine
In interstellar union.

And Saw That It Was Good

Aspidonia by Ernst Haeckel


And Saw That It Was Good

Life, it seems, is ev’rywhere,
An opportunist spiv:
And ev’ry nettle, ev’ry rat,
And ev’ry spider, ev’ry gnat,
And ev’ry roach and snake and bat,
Is one more proof of nature’s flair
Through evolution’s sieve.
So love each thriving organism:
Dandelion, botulism,
Dry-rot, fly-bot, feral pigeon;
Life, it seems, is ev’rywhere,
It cannot help but live.



There is no Plan A

Animalcules by Antony van Leeuwenhoek


There is no Plan A

First there was sunlight and bedrock and ocean,
And acids amino, all churned in a dance;
When somethings were randomly formed in that potion
Of nutrient flow in a soupy expanse.
They hadn’t a thought or a want or a notion,
They hadn’t the know that they’d barely a chance;
They had no creator to watch with devotion,
So where could they go, and just how to advance ?
But networks were working and systems in motion
Which favour and grow and compete and enhance:
And so, life is life – a fluky explosion,
A spawny crescendo to blind happenstance.



No Laughing Matter

Isabella Brant
detail from Isabella Brant by Pieter Rubens


No Laughing Matter

There !
There in the middle of my cheeks,
I swear – I bear the mark of freaks !
These cavities my face must wear
Just undermine my steely stare –
These hollow hickeys suck the chic
From out my compromised physique.
Oh, why must I be cursed to share
The pinched-in dimples of the meek ?

I’d sooner acne, pox or freckles
Than these intermittent craters –
Hardly think my lips need echoes
Just to show my cheeks are traitors.
But such is their two-faced work
That turns a smile into a smirk.
Alas, they’re written in my cells –
The cheesiest of tells.

Why on me and not my brother,
Nor my cousins, aunts or nieces ?
But the worst is how my mother
Loves to chub my surplus creases.
Hardly wonder all that froth
Would drive my teenage self to goth.
I felt far safer with a frown
When their depressions could not bring me down.

Damn !
I always promised that I wouldn’t let them show,
Or that I’d let my whiskers grow.
But if you like to see such flam on me
Feel free – but never tell me so !
I guess we’re wrinkled when we’re born,
Or else that’s how my face has worn.
I guess I should maintain a scowl,
Or slather on the botox with a trowel.

Dented, vented, wrecked and rent
Is really not my style –
I guess this must be what is meant
When faces crack a smile.
Did I once gurn on a change of breeze
To trap my grin within parentheses ?
I wish my apple cheeks were fruitless
From this taint of enforced cuteness.




Albino Lisa



Her hair is purest white, not quite,
Her skin is hinted bisque,
Her eyes are palest blue in hue,
Her lips are coral kissed.
Her subtleties of shade displayed
Are never blanched, but lush;
And with a gentle goose, educe
A gorgeous crimson blush.



I would just like to add thatb the goose was consentual.