Ark-ive Five


In the street a man becomes a dog and cries like a startled bird. The cry awakens parked vehicles barely settled for the night. Headlight eyes spring open and radiator mouths belch disapproving clouds of steam. Then the sun crests a starry, flower-strewn sky. Petals dance though there is no wind. I feel that I am moving but with my feet held fast by marble shackles, how can I be? Suddenly spinning. Suddenly still. Now in another place entirely. My minds eye wakes. Plates laden with food – savouries, treats, fruit – sit suspended above table legs that support no board. They melt, transform and I see my face reflected a thousand times, my eyes changing colour. A bird with no wings alights upon my shoulder, nuzzles my neck with a cat-like nose and mutters reassurances.

The plates have been replaced by the scattered pieces of a jigsaw. They move randomly, seeking their true form. But just when they near resolution they burst into purple flame and dissolve as the scene changes once more. Underwater. Falling. Flying. Running. A kaleidoscope of sensations. Colours blur, patterns form, reform. The clock upon the wall becomes a pair of shoes as I drive a model Ferrari across a kitchen floor. A giant bin appears before me and the brakes fail. I crash through a wall of light, tumble over feathers toward the brink of a precipice. I slide over the edge and awaken with a start.

Old folks are wrinkly because they’ve had all the magic squeezed out!


“What colour are my eyes?”
She asked her lover, lids lowered.
A response was slow in coming,
And that hurt her like Hell.


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