DATA COLLECTION (or Chaffinches at Isfield)


Some twenty yards ahead of me, this
pot-holed lane veers left, trailing off
into a gravelled track which disappears
behind an elderberry tree. To my right
an oak greens up for spring, verges
thicken with emerging nettles, spears
of unopened daffodils, the fern-like
growth of young cow-parsley. What
else? Grey sky, holly bush, ditch half
filled with last year’s leaves, three
magpies strutting on the corrugated roof
of a collapsing wooden shack, one
single power line strung between tall
poles, gold-splashed ivy on a red brick
wall, a distant blur of white from far
off blackthorn, and now a bay mare,
sixteen hands or more, skitters past me,
bucking, rearing, spooked by a wind
blown fertiliser-sack, but the girl gentles
her, smiles, raises a whip in greeting,
rides on. Alone once more, I take a last
look at the chaffinches, restart the car.
© Angela Kirby





Maja, Maja, take me
by the hand, lead me
down the subway,
feed me with Fat Pete’s
hot-dogs and let us
follow for a while
that weird little guy
like the White Rabbit,
talking to himself,
running nowhere
in his Brooks Brothers
seersucker blazer
and a straw boater
or let us drink wine
and read our poems
to each other and to
those ancient hippies
with grey pony-tails
and battered Strats
in the Cornelia Street
Café, then please, Maja,
pretty pretty please,
for I dream of it, let us
once more take that
old rusting ferry
across to Staten Island,
eyeing up the guys
and drooling ice-cream
as we did so long ago.


© Angela Kirby



Give me a nowhere world, a sweet
one, where numbers are as fluid
as wood smoke and infinitely divisible
by the square root of blue, while as
for facts, those didactic autocrats,
why, there we’ll say away with them.
to the lantern with them, string them up
by the heels
and we’ll pull them like

toffee until they become pliable
and see-through as soap bubbles.

I want there to be somewhere
way out there, a place we’ve never
even heard of where anything goes
or nothing, where mermaids have
three heads and five tails, where
he cats and dogs dance up to heaven
on a thirty-seven bus, smelling
of roses and salmon fish cakes,
where we’ll all live together
in the odour of sanctity, expanded
exponentially to encompass jasmine,
garlic, diesel, coriander and wet tar –


where we’ll sit for hours or eternity,
sunny as sand boys, singing plainsong
and eating caviar, all the while farting
like cardinals, there at the musky lip side
of the universe on rugs of Persian stars.


© Angela Kirby


Look, Flavius, get this through your pretty curls,
I’ve had enough of you and all your petty tricks,
those endless lies, deceptions, petty infidelities –
find someone else’s bed and some other prick
to irritate. You’re the jerk who took my pearls –
so don’t even think of writing, you little dick
head. Miss you? That’s really most amusing.
Would I miss flea, bed bug, wasp or mosquito,
their bites, stings, itches, would I miss cooties?
Believe me, I’m bored by your endless preening,
and worse, your pathetic all-consuming ego.
Must I repeat myself? Get lost, piss off, just go.


© Angela Kirby