IA dismal courtyard, stacks of empty crates.A pot of rosemary that no one tends.It lights a cigarette, then hesitates.Each indecision subtly countermands A former person's inchoate decree.A faded carpet slung across a railHas done with flying. Only this is free –The stony pigeon too resigned to fail. Obeying gravity it pecks for crumbs,With earthbound feathers chiselled out of slate;Its eyes as dead as diamonds do not blink. The real is cold as metal. Patience numbs.The long awaited invitation's late.It is too late to be myself, I think.IIThe cleaning-woman grumbles at her tasks.The mop would like to wash her dirty hair.Imperfect aspects – constant action masksSteps' echolalia on the soapy stair.Some body shoulders sacks of coal or spudsTowards an attic flat that isn't there,And slips, on loop, upon the tepid suds.The body corporate is doctrinaire:All loft conversions must be pre-approved.The building shunts, we shiver in arrears.Behind each door, the same old couple fights.The record spins, until, too deeply groovedTo skip, it plays the music of the spheres.Last leaves let go, and 'fall towards the heights'.IIIBlear morning steams above the garden plots,Where ravens make their liminal patrols.Inveterately venal, rueful sotsImplore their cowed and too-forgiving soulsFor one more chance to change. Their bargain oathsContribute to the all-pervading fugOf soot and smoke that belches from the stoves.A stoic widow beats a Persian rugWith ponderous intent, and syncopatesThe sluggish heartbeat of the frozen earth.The hooligans kneel down for bat and chain,On empty ovals in the grim estates.Like razor-wire graffiti binds their turf.A freight train, braking, screeches in the rain.IVOcculted coal-trains, anaesthetic fog.You startle from a moment of repose.Hope is as faithful as a mongrel dogThat sniffs the future with pathetic nose.Across the tracks, the wind in Brochów squalls.The jingling, nomad caravan of starsDeparts each night for hissing shower stalls.The wheat of concord rots among the tares.From out beyond the frosted silhouettesOf trees, and fields where eerie orange bloomsOf lamps unfold, at pensive intervals(While whispers struggle in the lacy netsOf curtains veiling overheated rooms)Rings out the envoi of expansive bells.VIThe empty exergue on the tarnished sunIs worn still barer by a skinflint breezeThat strokes the tender of oblivion.All month the grinding Gutenberg of treesChurned out a threadbare, clandestine gazetteOnly the exiles read. The warehouse groansUnder the weight of crumbling samizdat.In conchae of abandoned telephonesGrey Baltic tides implore an absent voice.Dead letters choke the deadpan letterbox.The season serves dry bread and bitter herbsBut garnished with the condiments of choice.Mist-censers veil the naked paradox.Crows feast on apples' decomposing orbs.