from DREAM THEORIES, by Iain Britton


reflections spill
a mix of painted mangoes
mothers are plaiting      their daughters’ hair
the lagoon      ripples with still-life
a carved marsupial      stiffens up
on wooden haunches      claws
permanently scratched
into the bright pink earth

a flute player      on his stone pad
plays to birds      which flock & silently spiral
children      paddle the green slushing
slime of the lagoon      we go
between the plastic palms
advertising this year’s      special rates
for sleeping under the stars
a church choir      opens the collective self
& harmonies spin & bounce off
outcrops of stellar hardware

we emerge      on the other side
cloaked in grass      eating berries
& a stream      stutters past
as if choking on messages


someone      hits
the midnight bell

a translocated forest
gouges out      large
clearings for people      like us
to congregate      we pretend
music heals      poetry heals
we listen to sunflowers
stretching their sinews      hills
swapping contours for blue colouring

women      in white hats
wait all day for sunsets to sign off      & a goat
stares at the pock-marked characteristics
of a world      dodging failed promises

myself & the village
meet for one more folk story

we live      by a lake
amongst unwrapped ancestors

early morning life forms
of foetal-tucked beginnings      our eyes
search for islands      floating in bottles



persons of no fixed abode
paddle the green     slushing murk
of the lagoon        sunlight
pushes beyond office blocks
sunlight invades       the scaffolding
of winter trees
the lagoon edges the city      the homeless
wear dreadlocks of dreams
the lagoon       ingests
the sky’s capriciousness        it takes
whatever splashes down
whoever stoops too close

an amoebic mind        has created
its own alphabet
its own numbers system
it has written       its own
Rosetta lingo        a child

fails to recognise       the maternal touch
its tribal significance      this moon’s
disrupted monologue



only acclaimed for an instant
a person’s eloquence
a person rolling a stone
across a renaissance canvas
of a warped crucifix      torso-clad
in a prayer shawl

a blackened house      sadly reveals
last week’s frivolity
the orgiastic wear      & tear
of this street’s inferno
a ladder      offers a rare climb
to some marbled Taj Mahal
with flags flying      banners
unfolding indigenous proverbs     shrines
open for lovers

gift-wrapped      this family
emerges      from broken shells
the hatched remnants
of a solar theory      which
has worked for some      for others
a Florentine garden
has been spoken for



Does the old alchemist
speak in metaphor … Robert Duncan

the best phase       comes later
the companionship     of horse & man
man & horse       the influence
of a green face from amongst the hills
is rugged     in folklore      the horse
stares at me        the man licks
his white lips         they quiver & smile
the animal stares        a rattling machine
is haymaking       bundling up the grass
the goats are being milked
the sheep are being milked
each morning      the village
is cut neatly     into slices       of bread
& buttered        each evening
the magpies      pluck at luminous grubs
the best phase       comes later
inside my house        local heroes
run freely        take up vantage points
a gold tree grows voluptuously
in the front room         the man
with the green face        & the horse
are at the window        wondering if


Since 2008, Iain has had five collections of poems published, mainly in the UK. Recently poems have been published or are forthcoming in Cordite, Harvard Review, Poetry, Stand, Agenda, The Fortnightly Review, Long Poem Magazine, Poetry Wales, The Reader, Blackbox Manifold, Molly Bloom, Poetry Salzburg Review and the Journal of Poetics Research. A new collection of poetry THE INTAGLIO POEMS was published by Hesterglock Press (UK), 2017.

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