verse to verse or catching zephyrs with a colander

there used to be

poems
for every
pavement crack

ballads
for every
boy with
stained sleeves
and a hole in his chest

couplets
for every
gambler with a broken dream
losing fast on a threadless seam

elegies
for every
father who lived
too short
and died too
long

epics
for every
Madiba-shuffling
Ghandi
with his face on a t-shirt
made in shanghai

ghazals
for every
lover so loving
love itself could not requite

odes
for every
sunset
burnt behind an
eyelid

but now
my verse
is
blank.

Women’s Day 2008

A treat
for Women’s Day;
manicures for all the girls.
How nice to have one’s hand
wrapped in another’s;
soothing
exfoliating
grooming.
A drive
to the shops after
and there’s a woman
at the robots,
her baby growing on her back.
Her hands hold out
a small bowl.
Window wound down,
buffed and filed fingernails
bounce off sunlight
as coins hit plastic
with the cadence
of impotent guilt.