BRISTOL June 2008

He’s leapt from the school wall, hair
orange in the sun, his wayward tennis
ball luminous green, bouncing like that
dot on a cardiogram’s screen; the difference
between life and death, while writers of crime
and mayhem troop beneath the cool palm
fronds in their hotel, ushered by Poles dressed
in mourning black, into too many chapels
of unrest.

He is quicksilver, reflected for a second
in the steel and glass of the re-vamped city,
risking all as the lights turn against him, the
brazen honks of white van man, the cheers
from his classmates as he grabs his Grail...
Meanwhile these scribes of crime and mayhem
address Norwegian woods, the violation of
virgins and innocents snatched from their prams.
Paths of evil worn deep by tipsy smiles, a
camaraderie of shared nightmares as
the ball slips from his hand, tumbles
towards the world-sized sphere by the muddy,
urban pool where toddlers wade towards the
far side until a scream and sirens drown their surprise;
make the inventors of crime and mayhem
pause in their flow for barely a second as
straps are secured, yellow doors opened,
and death, real death moves in.