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part one:


a hundred unsequential quatrains by

 Anthony Weir

dedicated to the memory of Omar Khayyám


The words that poets weave are spun from skeins
of shoddy shredded from the planet's screams,
and whether in Belfast or Naishapur
they make the tent that shrouds men in what seems.

The man who has nothing
to hide
cannot tell

Humans are almost everywhere.
Most other animals
are rare.
Mice are very brave.

The culture of capitalism
is the decoration of greed.
smells of the slave.

As the world heats up
they'll pour more water on their lawns,
then burn up petroleum to cut them.
And they think they're rational.

Gods were
invented to
stop us
being happy.

Cells commit suicide
to make us what we are -
the only animal
capable of suicide.

We are the shape and the colour of dying,
coffin-shaped, the pinkish blue-grey
which we call white - the colour of lying.
The taste in our groins is the taste of decay.

Towns are walls
and locks and ugliness
and peace denied.
Barbed wire defines the countryside.

A lamb skips gaily round the field
and romps to its mother's belly.
A farmer drives from dawn to dusk
and then he gapes at the telly.

Who wash the water
you have pissed in
damn the world
to luxury.

He lost his fur
in a storm, and, instead
of letting more grow,
he's been trying to change the weather.

When brain is blasphemy
of body
touch is the only

are the maggots -
and the corpse is

Life flows dog-like among the bones
and there is no meaning or rhyme or reason
to the invention of meaning or of loans -
Freud and Hitler lasted only for a season.

The beauty
of duty
is the apotheosis
of neurosis.

As a bubble in water, by its own levitation
rises up to its own, in its own is destroyed,
sex is a rupture continuous as creation
whose season ceases in consummate void.

The continuous sirens
of the city
sound the endless pursuit
of happiness.

is chains
in brains.

Each springing, wringing death which starts and ends a dream
of glowing forest fungi glowing soft and secretly
to claim the hands which touch the clutching flesh impatiently
squeezes out the groin like soft and warm ice-cream.

are not what men will be
but those they killed
to make us want more.

You can make a market
out of anything:
love, justice, beauty, tragedy,
faith, hope, charity...

Silent intelligence.
Its unimaginability
tells us
all we need to know.

Rejoicing in leaves and spiders
I bow to every dog I meet
knowing that trees
also are intelligent.

I am a pasture
a home
and a toilet

for skin-mites.

When the cleverest
is necessarily the stupidest
life is ineluctably
a botch.

The tragedy of evolution:
it has stuck at humankind
and so become a
static institution.

The cannibal rich.
My ownership of a eighth-hand car
is financed by killed hunter-gatherers
felled rain-forest and wiped-out species.

All that meat -
the babies
that no-one*
will eat.

*(not many of us - so far, at any rate)


If all mankind
is the enemy,
human friends
are very dangerous.

When we die
may you and I
be as two buttons
on God's fly.

A poem in praise of Brown Betty
who is not the lover I wish for,
strong and wilful and sweaty -
but a pudding I just need a dish for.

When you look
for disappointment
you are rarely

In 1792 Tom Paine's The Rights of Man
sold a quarter of a million copies in England:
less than the oak-tree-years required
to build a ship of war.

The Dawkins Project:
Tough on God.
Tough on the
causes of God.

For the fortunate
life is just a bar-code.
For the desperate
it is a chasm.

The most beautiful things
are broken.
The best of Man
is his ruins.

God is in each of us -
armpit and arsehole, foreskin and vulva,
cancer and pustule, dandruff and fæces.
The devil is in words and theses.

Please god
don't let me die
until I've finished
the Damson Pie.

Since yesterday
we have colluded
in wiping out
another hundred species.

Man's inhumanity
to man's a natural
result of man's inanimality
to animal.

The only afflicted species
afflicts almost every other.
The most afflicted members
kindly kill themselves.

is not the pearl
that is the essence
but the grit.

Because he does not delude
and cheat his mind with hope
the only honest person
is a misanthrope.

My poor poems
are piglets
cast before
dead, cultured pearls.

Factory-farmers say
unhappy animals
will not produce -
but just look at human beings!

We stamp on happiness
trying all the while
to give unhappiness
meaning, form and style.

They say Grace
before the animal
who was the grace
that they pretend to seek.

I sneak
into public gardens
before they open and after they close so I can peek
at plants without the people.

My dog:
he heard
the sky

There are cities of corn
where corn tramples the earth.
Where there are fields of men
the corn too is trampled.

To love solitude
is to know happiness.
Very few people
are interested in happiness.

Monsters too have headaches.
in Belfast:
Social workers wounded.

of murder.

You write a poem.
stop, then silence.
The silence is
a better poem.

There is a snowflake
in my heart
and I must keep
it warm.

The sensitive are driven by normality
to refuges of second-best
which connoisseurs call art, doctors call madness,
and saints call ecstasy (when they are impressed).

Great art cannot heal or even improve us
since it is made by people
who could not be healed
and mostly did not even try.

And so Wagner was adored by the Nazis.

O castles! O seasons!
What heart has not its treasons ?
O castles! O seasons!
What heart has not its reasons ?

The city. Today I saw
a thousand people
and a dog.
And only the dog smiled.

Sex can be
much better on your own
since nothing that you do
is false.

Love is an egg
broken in half
to hatch a purpose
for loving.

When we have lost
the twilight
all that we have
is loss.

Upon the planet that's a miracle of pain
ah! the faint glory of the human brain
evolving through so many million years
- to be possessed by envy, goal and gain!

Charity is
a hedgehog
turned inside

When need
turns to greed
the heart
turns to art.

Art is the craft of display
in which the great are greatly alone
and the rest are merely

Because happiness is not
a feeling, but a state,
those few that are happy
may not be aware of it.

The clockwork mouse grew bigger and became a rat,
a bigger rat, a monstrous clockwork rat
in a vast mechanical trap.
This is the age of the toy.

The world around me
but I hear only
human noise.

Even in the grave sound penetrates.
Worms move not-quite-silently.
And outer space is not so terrifyingly
silent as Pascal feared.

I cannot be
until I have
only my life
to lose.

The influential people
that I've never met
are the bushel that my light
must hide beneath.

The village knows
when I get up
because my shutters

Once a year
on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day
of the eleventh month
hypocrisy plays dumb.

When relationships hold us in thrall
and money establishes worth
it's the strongest who go to the wall
and the bleak who inherit the earth.

Metamorphoto by Anthony Weir

The mind is
cancer in the
Nature's hubris.

As ten thousand species are destroyed
and the world is rent by civil wars
scientists in Los Angeles
discuss the foresting of Mars.

Silent intelligence,
wordless wisdom.
How unevolved we are
and will remain till our extinction.

The arrogance of stupidity
The stupidity of arrogance
The futility of communication
The communication of futility

Before the coming
of Ragnarök
and Homo sapiens' sad remnants also quit the scene
I hide in desperation.

We are the gap
and the gasp
between chaos theory
and chaos.

Only the bad are famous;
the good remain invisible
unknown among the mad
millions of the unknown bad.

people will kill
for any reason
- except compassion.

Dogs and donkeys
are divine.
But I worship

The Rights of Man only seem to be negative:
the right to be illiterate
the right to wear nothing
the right to have no name.

Some of us rule
and most of us serve
but still a few
have the humanity to do neither.

Art is not honest
but easily seduces us
into believing that
we are.


Spending our lives
cleaning all the things we use...
Is dirt more filthy
than the concept of purity ?

The self
is a machine
for telling half-convincing
stories to consciousness.

There is no
such thing as 'society' -
only social entropy
and social engineering.

It is too easy
for evil
to make good
look silly.

Amazing mathematics
make immense and magic fires.
Tribes of pale neurotics
use electric hair-dryers.

We are dealers in pities
senile before we are old.
We have discovered since cities
only poison and gold.

This is the story
of Good and Evil:
Man is God
and Life's the Devil.

Playing with lies
as diners play with cruets
are the would-be spies
who are merely poets.

Extreme Unction:
we can't stop gibbering

and scribbling
our way to extinction.

All poems are translations
and all life interpretations
of existence
and of substance.

is a strange kind of sewer
containing a great deal of

Although I dislike using similes,
the history of my thinking
is like a shapeless
piece of crochet-work.

There are many original sins.
Perhaps the worst
is thinking that oneself and one's
species has the least significance.

Old men are callous to be old
who should have died of sorrow
knowing there is no And Yet
and no Perhaps Tomorrow.

One never forgets
how to ride a bicycle.
But it is too easy to forget
how to weep.

We operate
soullessly, and soullessly expect
our separate
amputations to connect.

Please god
don't let me die
before I start on
this great poem which I....





part two


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