Once upon a time … the publishers take no responsibility for the increase in prescribed medications.


The Lost Narrative Sonnet Cycle of Rodrigo Elise Enfant.


Note to the reader:

The following translations have been undertaken from segments of recently discovered English, Chinese, Portuguese, and Spanish documents. No further material has been located. Despite their best efforts in dealing with the primary materials, the translators can offer no explanation as to how documents of the modern era were discovered with the older material, written in first hand, irrespective of the century, or parchment or paper type, or language.

My name divided

Gravity of penultimate night

resting gentle palm over heart

push slowly

out of this quilt of sighs

feathering masquerade of snow

coral sugar beach crunching under outstretched hands

weightless free of kerb and verge

starry shake whizzes through the furious lie

you were always more than generous

after all

By future denied

Rodrigo Enfant before,

during and again later.

In the chafe of being

between the fall

of shadow and dazzle of awakening.

She would rise in writing

to reach the quill,

drag the typeset

in that peculiar motion of his,

hammer the keyboard

like an inky fist of print

bleeding to come out into being.

Satan’s Price

In the shammy counting house of parole

Lucifer smiles wringing out the honeycomb,

Drains the souls in dripping nonchalance

Of promises forsaken in the greed of want.

The horde of sins scurries as ants hungry

From his drenching scrutiny of shelves,

Litmus fingers cloy the stuffing pushing

Back any drifting excess of discontent;

Marked down in the pallets murmurs

Are second thoughts without redemption.

To the surreal balcony

Singing the aniseed swamp smell

out of the room,

where the other children struck

at fleeing wastrel crimes,

all dressed to chase down

fleeting tunnels

of adventurous mischance,

the voice quelled the air.

Until the change to bellow grew

into a solo backdrop hymn

where the suspended silent aftermath

spoke of itself.

Picasso kisses Dali

The first unbound moment of it

In the candour of angels.

Untouched by knowledge

Nothing to be right or wrong.

A feather, dances over unhindered plain

Eases out a long-exhilarated sigh

Recedes a whole pier to bend a pose.

In captured silent joy of breathing

A Silhouetted fluttering dove

Stirs from the outlined chest,

Pomegranate world has all the seeds

Gathered to the tie knot.

In sail with Painters, new worlds

In the glistening aperture of making,

the rustle of silk petticoat

or shake of a box of matches,

stirred the pots of colour,

splashing a drag of existence

to portrait on the canvas,

turning to graffiti the sea wall;

where the tide stayed out

long enough for the image to set

on the curl of sand drying below.

Leaf Fall

Philander of delta in grudging green

Turn of season shedding evaporative drought.

To spite of kingdom so small the mites

Carry the empire’s longing opened veins,

Weather the levee surge in underground cities;

Majesty’s feint the reform to harvest,

The last vestige of paternalistic rage

Surrenders in descent of flutter whirl change,

Renewing the place of zephyr trailing

Upward buds small scythes of jaunt

Slice at the airy hope of fall.

At Elizabeth’s behest

Sleepy candle flutter eyes,

falling hand bears the lamp,

flaming to poke the switch to light.

Tousle of hair nets a dream,

angry priest shaves away,

bleeding in heretic convocation;

guillotine swish or axe fall,

the horse stands dreaming

as the carriage door slams

catching the ends of prying fingers.

How much do I love Thee

How much do I love thee?

Of all the worlds matter make nought:

Scrape up the limitless sands of Arabee

Cry nil and cancel ancient debates fought,

Loose the arrow that brings doom to the phoenix –

Find the perfect seventeenth syllable

Confound and master the alchemist’s tricks,

Write down the unsaid of the embalmer’s table.

Love stills the breath of the living

In a landscape paused between the tick and tock,

Of the measure of time most unforgiving,

And though my tortured head be down

before the axeman on the block:

Have no doubt in my most fervent answer dear

I confess it all to you alone and have no slightest fear.

Between Princes and continents

By the glimpse of stockings,

a silk ladder leans

in against the longing climb,

the kitchen garden flirts paved edges

lost in the perfumed seethe

of aromatic tumble,

dragon fly darts the lunge

of sticky spidery remembrance,

hides in the cleft of damp brick;

two figures emerge

embraced in haphazard alchemy.

The bell ringer carves the day,

not caring where the moment falls

to shake the vibrato pickup sticks of shades,

out of deadpan grasp and let go,

in his hunch no careless wonder

bothers with the past.

Whirly gig spirals rebound the walls,

their echoes in tendril soft as udder

string milk as coigns

in the viewing harp touch.

Mission with Wang Wei

Entering the city before cock crow

By the silver birch canal

Awestruck by the sculpted buildings

Furtively we look for watchtowers

Listening to the strange northern dialect

Cheery voices mingle with cooking smells

Without speaking we share a glance

Our Lord loves the hunt so much

He writes and paints of rapturous kills

We hope he is not too fond

Of where he has sent us.

In clandestine service, Lenin and Zapata

Adjusting hat in a private slant,

disclosure wants no passer-by;

friend or enemy recant all secrets

told or lost to the hungry fountain,

the fonts of others pretend the truth of caste,

but there in view the sideways glance is tarry enough;

witnessed shimmer binds the spot

of spark not recognition bright.


Across the defile they come

smudged by travail,

trudging the slope, eyes look past us

to the place we all know –

new bodies to load the long rifle

discarded shells of infants

we sleep with the dead here

knowing what is buried.

Passing Camelot, tomorrow and Orlando

Moon sunk failed scone,

doughy fingers stick in the plait of lives;

each hand pull down on the other,

twist a rout to cleanse a Pilate.

Drown a clown to feign a stunt,

surety grows in the nurtured nose bleed

to blush cheeks washing through the laughing chorus,

fixing a smile cures the breathing.


A feminine shroud of caress

Surrounds in daisy link the fallen.

The lap-tap-tap-lap of embarkation

Ripples at the edge line of journey,

A hand of day pulls aside

The secret curtain breeze;

Reveal of tattoo sky in point of return

Warms the block stone landing,

Lanyards shunt to ease the bow and stern

Shadow entourage lifts in cherished sift

The ransom cargo of idea.

This sequence has appeared in The Leviathan’s Apprentice, and Walking Through Fences, now with some changes due to the nuances of the language and calligraphy.

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