Cheating Karma by Patricia Walsh

An angry reception works wonders.

Turning away doggerel worth repeating.

Private study rocks the galleon

short of an armada, a screw loosened.


Favourite stanzas beat the time

of another rhythm, rank entitlement,

complex to ensure one’s immaturity

leaving it to others to ascertain.


Outliving these bastards is a feat in itself,

keep buying tobacco until they fall over,

a children’s collective over the fire,

routinely beaten until they learn.


Fish needing rickshaws, queue for sunlight

placards advertising lost causes

attacking cliché at every unstoned turn,

skyscraping conveniently parked cars.


The books returned, sheepishly aligned

coloured hands make a mark of industry

clay feet a mockery of effort

the report card at an eternal loss.


No dictionary of sorts, no rough explanations

can assuage my failure to reconcile

none more violent than the rest of us,

asleep on duty, forgetting their lines.



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