A Brief Foray into Gardening 

According to our unreliable narrator, self-doubt will combust inside an
enclosed garden. Gently escorting with fork and spade, he hovers above
the text like a controlled fire. A solid breakfast of poached eggs and tea,
under the openly expressive tree. Blossoms fall in fresh, white shades,
(their indelible perfume, a ticket to bleak introspection.) I tug the barrow,
acutely aware of presences, the earth and its unerring sense of place; a 
complex woman poised behind the electric fence; promises to relinquish 
clothes, once I master tending roses. A commonplace trend - the will to 
chew arid fruit and straw pre-empts my voice, (this indicates fear); and 
inevitably, sizeable clouds outwit the naive blue. Our flowerbed is full of
hands, some open, others clenched. I tried emulating the ample book, but
it was false, I tell you, all untrue.

The Societal Address

There are birds, and after a massacre of beats, no more birds.
Prolonged electrolysis breeds minimal furnishing - burnt hair, a chair.
Installation complete, I tire of hormonal talk and elect myself king.
A brown leather suitcase obscures my civilisation of rain. 
I am officially
supple-minded, turned loose over the municipal fields.
Two doctors, one bland, one piquant, left a stern list of proclamations:  
"In order to function well, we must employ concepts in their everyday form."
"Deriving pleasure from objects is a natural source of regret."
"Incapacity threatens the gamut of society, by deed and misdeed alike."
Even insane Gerald knows lolling from home to office is a nonsense.
We suspect Gerald of fakery, despite a clear nose for the truth in all things.
A wilful acceptance of subtle boundaries is essential, allegedly, but 
he reminds us: The terminal cause of discord can be traced to desire, like a thin
As part of my convalescence, I attend a lecture on advanced optimism.
Divided into teams, we LAUGH, hoping to relieve the economy of her
Like a perpetual enhancee, the tissue will only accept so many injections.
Colossal is not beautiful. But one man's fire is another's earth, and such.
There is a skewed romance to these avowals; wholly unfathomable to me.  
"Avoid rending casual terms - Fatal, etc - they only lend hope to obloquy," 
and the confounding: "Never proclaim it is raining, or I am dreaming,
especially if your subject runs in concert with the noise
of rain."
I mimic a candle-flame on the dresser, comforted, slightly left of centre.

The Aviary Meeting
I kissed the tiny mirror. She appeared, petite, standing on one leg.
A quiet air of injury, in retrospect. "Now we've officially met,
perhaps a long walk? Food? How does this usually go?"
The cafe presented its welcome, elderly patrons and poor serviettes.
A calendar circled the walls, reminding us of the polite time to leave.
Feeling honest, I ordered one boiled ham and a saucer of trill.
She stirred her drink for the length of a test match,
before finally calling the waiter. "Would you consider this man attractive?"
Without pause, he folded my face into an origami boat.
By early afternoon, we yawned, watching the wax houses gradually melt.
"Such a shame," she insisted, "all that work, and now look."
I'd already decided to emblazon her crest onto my abdomen, so barely listened.

Inside the yellow cage, a rogue feeder used up all the juice.
My name-tag worked its way loose and plopped into the teapot.
"What were you aiming for?" I salted her chips.

She answered, lips like proud football mascots, studying my animated reaction:       
"I wanted to construct a field, where the promise of growth is continual."
Nobody could ever accuse us of urbanity.

Her mouth became a tunnel into which eager migrants never return.
How I fought to create a sparrow, like them, and secretly confer:
"There are these kinds of love, willing our wings to mar."

Yorkshire, 1983

"Who to trust, when every exchange is one-sided?"
The wheels of the sun grind charmlessly over my halo.
"That's no response!" I lambast, genuinely upset.
The warm light huffily stamps its feet; retreats.
I crunch a green pepper behind the crematorium,
boots drying on the coal bunker. A scrap of toilet paper
reads: Beware the ides of March. I ignore the caveat and lick,
in tiny writing: Enjoy March! Our least eventful month!

In a perfect world I suppose Helen, hair nestling her white
bottom, could peel the yellow crust from my lip;
an amiable philanthropist would buy my highly skilled tongue
and we'd LIVE, idle as lucky old suns, enjoying the waters.

Sadly, Helen works as a civil servant and avoids confrontation.
The only talent-scout in Yorkshire killed himself, for her. 
I bear a violent grudge over bone & rubbish salad, sparks
winging their little dream, of pornographic Russian dolls.

    Ben Stainton 2009