The Heart Attack

The young copper wasnít easy. He attempted
Standing with a hand relaxed in pocket. Gazing
Across the world that didnít stop. At his feet I hopped
To avoid the streak of urine from under the blanket.
Dark on the golden bricks of civic bustle.

The Anatomy Laboratory

A little crowd of us lingering, the delivery entrance
Rolling door curved high. We watched a postgraduate
Lean delicately over head and shoulders.
Lead in with a smile and a wave the post grad ignored
Our gaggling uncertainty, the nerves of the uninitiated
Looking, refusing to look, past giant refrigerators,
A cluster of offices, chairs, trolleys, the sharp fluorescence
Of lights high above and the hundred slabs in rows,
Covered, uncovered, mashed and skinned, eviscerated. Shelf
After shelf with jars of lung, heart, liver neatly preserved. These
Strings of intestine never to be sausages though
     The flesh is cooked, like jerky. Stomachs spasm,
     but only the lucky vomit and are taken away.


Standing on the bank, two copper pennies clasped,
One in each fits, ripped from eyes as though that
Will aid sight. I hear children play, chasing laughter
Folded in dark silence: the sound of oars dipping
Water, thick, black, stale blood lapping
At the depth of dream that there is something afterward,
Some flicker of the ferrymanís light in the looming dark.
No beacon penetrates, no sound lingers. Vision
Stumbles, seeking that bright light, that
Angelic arm burnt into the black, collapsed
Life dream. This is your death: crackle of skin
And bone in fire to cast shadow out. It
Is a black light in the black night, it
is silent but for the slow drying of blood.

(c) Bruce Muirhead. All rights reserved.

The bottom half of an image of a flax frond.