I've bound myself in reams

Paper, thin under folded crease, keeps the words in – just.

But a buttress of words soon buckles and thrusts

as a cobra – punch drunk – grasps the been*.

* been is another word for 'pungi', an Indian folk instrument made from a dried bottle gourd. The kind you might expect to see a snake charmer play to hypnotise a cobra.

At dusk the doppelwälker

through looking glass does tread,

Then smiling, wan, with face half gone

nods passage of the dead.

With milk glass fixed upon the skies

Our sister shifts through endless gloom

And leaving lowlands where the lie, she leaps!

From reeds

to flames

to die in cinders,

burnt upon the moon.