step back
spoken word written after listening to Rainy Miller's NTS Radio Show

Dreams are dull for everyone but the dreamer, but mine last night were violent and detailed.

Read a poem for a lesson that I thought was about ploughing dead spring lambs back into the ground; white sprig of bone bending to the colour of blue flint, a cranial spray, the heckle of the farmer's blade as it hawks up the hopeful earth in the early hours of a difficult day.

I was in a strange land where drug offences are punishable by never seeing anyone you love ever again. Nevertheless, I dabbled. Blew a bright red powder, like the ground spice of Dune; ended up deep and dormant behind shuddering lids, lay down for a whisper's length and, when I awoke, tried to escape the willowing crowds.

Came round with the conviction that I needed to connect with someone I knew; decided to leave camp, churn up sand somewhere else, go looking for a different moon.

Meanwhile someone had recorded a stop-motion epic of a dissolving household pet; the usual grubs gathering all over the fur, the scrabble of disseminating flesh, the diminishing of a once dearly beloved animal frame.

I told myself these bloody scenes weren't worth it. A boring echo told me they had something to do with shame. The exposure wasn't working, wanted to shutter myself from the worst of it, turned my back on the nightmare before I could hurdle it, and turns out the poem that I'd thought was about the reploughing of dead lambs into the soil is actually about war, just war, no poetic reckoning with the sharp edge of spring, just the laying down of the far too wounded, the young who never made it through the offensive, no metaphor needed, just a turning over of old familiar graves at the end of a new and unfamiliar day.