When the sun rose like a tangerine
One segment at a time
And the birds sang the opera
Forgetting how to tweet

When the moon went on holiday
Just packed up and left
And the cats ate their keepers
But still walked the dogs

When the rain ran upwards
The snow falling only halfway
And the wind blew in circles
Never quite sweeping us clean

When the dawn swapped with dusk
Bats and owls had it worst
And the crocodiles swam upriver
Mistaking themselves for salmon

When all this happened, I was asleep
But I woke in a panic, three times
I put on my trousers, one arm then the other
And raced our tortoise to breakfast

Nothing much had changed though
Nothing much of note
Until I looked to your armchair; empty
That’s when I knew, I was broken


47 thoughts on “When”

  1. GAWD! My chest actually ROSE with this reading! A physical emotional response! What a BEAUTIFUL piece R! I know I say that quite often, but is there a word that extends even further than I have hither-to gone? If so, can you place this piece there, and cover it in gold leaf, it is exquisite, really superb writing my talented friend, lordy how you can do it when you do it. DANG

      1. Trying to appropriate some Texan words into my vocabulary, as often revert back to olde english or high French πŸ˜‰ Seriously R, that’s some sublime work there, I’m jealous in a really good way

      2. Well we BOTH know it has long ago πŸ˜‰ But at least there are pockets of insight (not quite sanity) among the Triffids

      3. btw was talking about your excellent book to a few friends today hope I talked them into buying it – they should!

      4. We should both have managers because we’re not of this planet so we need to be reminded to occasionally act human πŸ˜‰

  2. This is fabulous!!!! I can see a book here for children and old people. It’s silly and funny and thoughtful and surprising. I like.

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