Michael Thorne



The deepest void



How the breath pours out of the woman,

Dropping and grazing each cheek and

Sucking every kiss with her ebony charm.


There is a fulcrum rocking in the chest,

A groaning pelvis.


They pulse through the throbbing arteries of love,

Lifting up skirts over shaking thighs

And picking kisses across wet skin, steadied




How the sweat pours out over the man,

Twisting, scorching in her wanton hum and

Building shuddering quakes in the early morning.


Theirs is an intimate translation,

Sucked out of the deepest void of the living world.


A neighing, beating, drowning ecstasy

That comes shuddering into existence,

Time and again,

Leaving behind no memories,

But the haunting loss of a haunting need.




The end of necessity 



As if turning a moment in time could

make any difference!

Scorn falling on the head of each new idea

like a jealous father.


Has the era of isolation run its course?

Has the era of community and tribe played its cards

to be superseded by the emptiness of endless possibilities;

the boundless reaches of the modern dream?


The edge of the old ways;

Wilfred Thesiger’s time with the Bedu;

A groaning jolt of the train lurching forward and

Carrying me mechanically into the world

Of some other stranger.


These unfamiliar faces belie the similarity wrought

By hunger for a destination;

By longing for a tomorrow

That is distant and abstract and raw.


Harboured in the cola that I drank,

In the TV that flashed above my head,

In the car that I rode later that day,

In the tagine that I ate after sunset;

Diluted, muddled and unnecessary.




Michael Thorne © 2009




I read an image of design,

Some remnant of civilisation:


Get lost! It shouted

And I got lost.


Get stoned! It smiled

And I did the same.


Get ready! It beckoned

And I lost my feeling.


Get out, it mumbled

And I left its side.




On seeing the unedited footage of war



Crowd fisted like screaming fools,

A wailing head in a mother’s breast

And all about falling, falling

Down into some terrible consequence.


The future,

Crying out with wild eyes

In unison, then in tandem, then disharmony.

Broken, shattered limbs and the boy,

The boy with the face half gone,

Still standing, numbly, swaying

In a hot desert wind that punctures his skull.


The crowd, throbbing and unwieldy,

Running like some maddened river

Through the obvious course,

Suddenly darts to stagger

Upon a fleeing stranger caught out of place,

Beaten to a pulp and raised above heads,

Body lifeless and no longer breathing,

Head flapping against the empty sky.


The crowd, maddened and quaking,

Shocking the walls of the houses around,

Hammering the shuttered shops.

Bathed crimson-red, white and brown,

Heavy in the scent of sweat and blood

That runs in the faces and in the gutters,

That rises to a crescendo

Endless, pulsing, unattainable.


The crowd, twisting and tumbling,

Uncertain of how to express

The multitude of fear, hate and despair,


Spills out into torrents, slows

To a trickle of heavy limbs, eyes, souls.


Grief in the consequence, grief in the means,

The ends and the beginning of it all.

Still shouting at forces they cannot stop

They are wild and desperation

Leads to belief in their own power,

The force of God, however misguided.



Michael Thorne © 2009