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Steve Spence - five sonnets

Steve Spence

Waiting for a Passer-by

Although sharks inhabit our waters you are unlikely
to encounter one on a trip to the beach. Yes but are
the regulators being forced to take action? “Take action,
take action NOW,” she said. Migration means different
things to different people but why wait for the end of
a sentence when you can start again at the beginning.
Generally speaking a poster is quicker to absorb than
a press ad. “There are no apartments to rent and I can’t
afford to buy a house,” she said. We all know the
importance of a good night’s sleep but it’s an elegant
enough explanation which may have to do with body
size. How do you choose a destination? Do you know
that today’s average adult performs a repetitive,
unchallenging job during a longer working week?

A Psychology of Crowds

Let’s examine each section of our strategy
statement. “This is the material that people
want to buy because it’s never been touched”,
she said. We need to build a network that
deals with heavy traffic flow but these creatures
are great navigators and on another occasion
in another location who knows what might
happen. “It’s like standing on the moon, a place
where humans shouldn’t be”, she said. Migration
remains a risky business. Luckily this time he was
more emphatic but with less than a day into
our stay we were encountering more than our
fair share of problems. “The Holy Grail says it’s
not for sale”, he said. Red kites are on the increase.

A Manufactured Landscape

Why is the cockroach a symbol of everything
we find disgusting? There are echoes in
history from these decaying objects but we’re
trying to avoid awkward questions and the
red kites are increasing in number. Have you
noticed any change in your ability to hear
clearly recently? Despite the reward these
bodies continue to pile up. “I like the word
‘shenanigans’ but not as much as I like the
word ‘cornucopia’”, she said. This building is
very different from the last one we were in.
“It’s pretty toasty but a great candidate for
restoration”, he said. It’s an open invitation but
tread carefully and please don’t scare the fish.

Filling in the Forms

Are we going to prolong these rescue schemes?
“I need you all to catch up with your paperwork”,
she said. On-the-job training is a thing of the past
but it might be better to opt for the slow route in
any case.  Are any of us really the owners? “I’m just
an actor with a gun”, she said. These long-distance
movements are incredible but we’ve been scanning
your records and none of this is looking good.
What are the most important tools of navigation?
Tell-tale traces of webbed feet may incite a reaction
but he’s also a painter, a practice which feeds into his
poetry. Is it possible that these stories of fallen angels
were really aliens come to earth to mate with humans?

Is This How it Ends?

Nobody likes an open-ending but there is a
huge variation in the migratory habits of birds
and sometimes it’s nice to own something
that’s real. If contents are damaged beyond
repair they should be changed. What are the
links between space travel and deep ocean
exploration? Are you a key worker? “Yet the
problem with transitional governments is that
they tend to go on and on,” he said. Are we
seeing a new scramble for Africa? Are you
paying too much for your gas and electricity?
Destabilisation and neo-liberal politics seem
to be the only agenda. “Goodbye bee and
good luck with the rest of your life,” she said.

Copyright © Steve Spence, 2020.

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