Throwing the Switch

was it the 500,000th
that threw the switch,
your light flickering?

i see you bathed in darkness,
no light, no air,
just the rasping
of short-circuitry

Was the timer on before
you were born?
i don’t know…

Maybe the 500,001st
was the nth
of vice,
lights-out for a pulse

If Leibniz were alive, i would
ask him,
but we wouldn’t
share a smoke

Dad IV

I glimpse

your ghost


the sure hands

of a carpenter,

the polished grain

of Oregon pine,

the automatic way I

switch off the light when leaving a room,

the geometric folding of

a newspaper

on the train,


those who talk to


as if they were human,

to humans

as if they were

joy itself,

the cheerful scatting

of a man in his shed,


exasperation when someone goes right

to turn left,

sliced tomato on toast,

and – every morning –

in the shapes

of my


BBC – Horizon – The Ghost in Your Genes