A key player in an intricate plot to take over the world, Andrew Turner is taking the scenic route to an eventual doctorate in cosmology. When not thinking about time, he is.
Pressed and filed between the leaves
of a book I rarely read
mummified and stockpiled against the day
my karmic creditors return to repossess me
are some ten dozen four-leaf clovers,
harvested in better days
like wishes on the Perseids.
Sometimes mincing round in circles
squinting at the ground I think
I would give them all away to find
just one more today, but I know
good luck is mainly a matter of perseverance.
The red and swollen hands
which clutch and grope me through my clothes
care not for understanding or for praise
but only seek to pinch and prod the sweaty folds
already so uncomfortable all by themselves.
O Weatherman, how could you say
that it is good to be alive at ninety-seven?
How could you say that it is better than last week,
that this is for what we’ve all been waiting
to make our happy lives complete?
In hopes that something more might come to be
Than disembodied phrases (though in truth
Those can occasionally be of use),
I write down anything that pauses me
In my elliptical apostrophe
To the furniture and all my uncouth
Hemming and hawing and sawing of tooth.
A year spent thusly yields a verse or three.
A quarter-dram of soma in a day
Does much the same. With pride out of the way
Words flow as fast as my hand will allow.
Innocuous she is, I know, but how
Illuminating, this dubious muse,
Who makes an epic chore of tying shoes?
Letter to a Friend
I've tried to write you many times
Since last I tried to write
About the many skins I've shed,
The lives led in the interim.
I could tell you all about my revelations
Why that which is should not be so,
But that would beg the question why
I haven't moved a finger's breadth
And why I'm steering into walls
With no less frequency these days,
And you would not believe in me.
Things here are all the same. That's why
I am not writing you again.
Bread Upon the Waters
When I cast my bread upon the waters
And watch it drift a hopeful while
Anticipation swells like dough inside the oven,
Expanding with organic grace
And exuding an aroma as approving
As the smiles of friends and strangers when it's baked,
Until soggy it sinks out of sight
To meet with cold-blooded water-breathing aliens
Who mistake it for a stone.
The next time I get the urge to share my bread,
I'll tear it into a thousand pieces
And feed it to the ducks instead.
by Andrew Turner