after L. Frank Baum
Each year they return to lie among the poppies,
to breathe the opiate air and whisper, half whisper,
forget. The word is witching on their breath. Silence.
They dream remembrance until the poppies are gone
and bitter winds shake them. Where pretty flowers stood,
now flailing, angry pepperpots sow next year’s crop.
for James Oliver
You can’t come down this road, it’s private.
If you come down this road you’ll be arrested.
Not arrested by the police. This is private
business. It is dealt with by somebody else.
No, you can’t contact them. Their details are private.
Access must be strictly restricted. You will hear
from them when they get your file. This isn’t private.
Your details must be shared. You have trespassed.
Ignorance does not excuse your transgression. Private
parties have a right to know your sin. We must enforce.
There are punishments for stepping on private
property without permission. You will be sent
to a private correction facility, where your private
parts will be exposed and mocked.
There is no right of appeal. These are private
matters. We kindly ask that you respect our privacy.