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This poem is taken from PN Review 230, Volume 42 Number 6, July - August 2016.

From a book with no name Ken Edwards
Water

It is a belief. Everybody is entitled to it. It is a belief system it underlies everything but it is undetected. There is all to play for it is entitlement. It plays gently it quenches. It plays and the play of it is endless it is a system. It is a system that quenches itself. But this system is endless. It is energy. It’s undetected but it’s behind everything. It is hidden. It is behind the walls. It is underground. Sleeping there. It is inside of us can you hear it? The Moon tugs it. Are you listening to it? There it goes again. Listen. It is hidden on the Moon. It really is something. The energy is really something it is something everybody knows. It is something everybody knows but it’s unknowable. It is hidden on the Moon and it sublimates on Mars it escapes into deep space. We get it from deep space. We are made of it and we are unknowable. We are moving. Who can know us? It swirls and eddies it takes the form of torrents vortices and whirlpools it has a transcendental element. So salts form in it. And we move with it as we form. It is key to the landscape we say it transcends. It can’t be contained. The domes are full of it. The tanks overspill.  It is in the pipes. It’s in the cesspools gutters drains and pipes but it can’t be contained. It’s coming through the pipes but the pipes can’t contain it any longer. It’s coming from upstairs. It’s coming down the walls. It’s coming down everywhere. Where is it coming from we don’t know where it’s coming from. It finds its own way. It finds a way it escapes and finds a way it finds a level. It has consequences. It finds its own way down we can’t tell the consequences where it all comes down. It soaks muslin and leaves traces. The floor is soaked with it. Absolutely soaked. It leaves damage in its wake. Damage is formed by it. The consequential damage is incalculable. It lashes down without cease it sweeps away villages. It can’t be predicted it has no colour. No colour can be observed in it. But it has a cadence. It is profound. Its cadence is profound. It has no colour it has a beautiful translucency with a shimmer in it. Has no colour but what a shimmer. With a shimmer we disappear. We disappear into its profundity into its vast depth we are engulfed and disappear forever. We call it the ocean but it lives in a glass.


Live at Birdland

They sing. They perch. They flit. They preen. They fly. They settle. They hop. They flutter. They walk. They peck. They look. They nod. They flap. They twitter. They call. They threaten. They jump. They mate. They jostle. They stretch. They warble. They nestle. They hover. They glide. They squabble. They feed. They kill. They sleep. They shudder. They fluff. They strut. They display. They sing intermittently. They perch wilfully. They flit threateningly. They preen beautifully. They fly cheekily. They settle prettily. They hop darkly. They flutter brightly. They rarely walk. They peck quickly. They look slowly. They nod purposefully. They flap randomly. They twitter pertly. They call erratically. They threaten firmly. They jump lazily. They mate fitfully. They jostle again. They often stretch. They warble lightly. They nestle loudly. They hover repeatedly. They glide well. They squabble badly. They feed strongly. They kill madly. They sleep nimbly. They almost shudder. They fluff shortly. They strut fearfully. They seldom display. They perch threateningly. They flit beautifully. They preen cheekily. They fly prettily. They settle darkly. They hop brightly. They flutter fearfully. They walk quickly. They never peck. They look purposefully. They nod slowly. They flap badly. They twitter randomly. They call pertly. They threaten erratically. They jump firmly. They mate lazily. They jostle fitfully. They stretch again. They often warble. They nestle lightly. They hover loudly. They glide repeatedly. They squabble well. They never feed. They kill strongly. They sleep madly. They shudder nimbly. They never fluff. They strut shortly. They display intermittently. They sing wilfully. They preen threateningly. They fly beautifully. They settle cheekily. They hop prettily. They flutter darkly. They walk brightly. They peck fearfully. They look quickly. They never nod. They flap slowly. They twitter purposefully. They call badly. They threaten randomly. They jump pertly. They mate erratically. They jostle firmly. They stretch lazily. They warble fitfully. They nestle again. They often hover. They glide lightly. They squabble loudly. They feed repeatedly. They kill well. They sleep strongly. They shudder prettily. They fluff madly. They strut nimbly. They display shortly. They never sing. They never perch. They flit wilfully. They never settle. Hop slowly. Flutter purposefully. Walk badly. Never shudder. They peck wilfully. Fluff threateningly. Strut beautifully. Display cheekily. Look pertly. Never flap. They nod firmly. Twitter lazily. Call fitfully. Never threaten. Never jump. They mate lightly. Jostle loudly. Never stretch. Never warble. Never nestle. They hover strongly. Glide madly. Squabble nimbly. Feed shortly. Never kill. They sing darkly. Never sleep. They perch brightly. Never flit. They preen fearfully. They fly away.


Animals have no names

We hear them at night in the forest but never see them. Their noises come over the water from the outer islands all night long their inexplicable noises. But when the sun comes up they are nowhere to be seen. Nowhere to be seen because they are in hiding. What have they got to hide? We know they are out and about on the islands or in the dark forest in the places nobody goes they are out and about they know we are here but they don’t care. They don’t care about us. They’re out and about in the dark forest and they don’t care about us not at all. You can call them all you like they won’t answer. They will not answer they just chitter and howl and roar. You may see the prints of their naked feet where they have been. Maybe you can catch their eyes in the dark their eyes glitter. They glitter as they chitter they don’t care. They whimper and they bleat they sigh and squeak. We give them names. The Leopard Cat and the mighty Bee. The Naked Mole Rat the Arachnids the Nurse Shark and the Molluscs with their beady eye. These are the names we give them but they have no names. The slovenly Lion the majestic Tapir and many others on land and sea and in the air such as the Humming Bird and indeed birds and bird machines of all kinds how they lurk and shout and perform their mad language games. In the midst of the dark forest they have lost their way. Call out their names all you like they will not answer. They lose their way and blunder in the forest they howl in the mountains but they do not lack confidence at all in any manner whatsoever their confidence is obvious in their stiff-armed strut their simian strategies. They are so sure of themselves. They howl from mountain to mountain. Their terrible soft eyes glitter in the dark. They don’t know their names you call them repeatedly but they don’t answer. They do not know their names. They have absolutely no idea. They do not answer to their names. They do not appear but you can smell them. The scent tells you they are very close. They are closer than you think. They are magnificent in their way even though they are stupid. They take their terrible revenge they murder their own kind they devour their children. They are crazy they really are. They show no gratitude. They lie and cheat they eat their babies they are stupid. They make war on their own kind with fangs and claws with rockets and swords. They cause explosions. They blunder and shout in the forest and laugh at the moon. They do not care about us. Their throats are warped they have no words they have no names the stupid stupid animals.


Where are the animals going

The animals are running. They are running together. The animals are running away. They are all different sizes. Faint steam rises from their bodies. They are not looking at us. Their eyes are fixed on where they are going. They are fleeing but we do not know what they are fleeing or where they are heading. It is a mystery. Scientists have come up with various possible explanations. The animals appear to be scared you can see it in their eyes. They are scared all right. They are all running together in a group or in several groups. They run and run. Are they trying to tell us something? Nobody knows. Nobody knows what they are trying to tell us.
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