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Shine light on the edge of the square

and there a clutch of the creatures

brass necks and ostrich eyes

guffaw grins and slapped sore thighs

walk without waking through the lanes

the baton charge and horseback riders

weighing up with pounds and ounces

how to stop these kilograms

from taking hold and spreading over

the marble halls and archways           now

calculate in museums of science

the length and breadth of grotesques

the passing down of tiny charters

the illness of self delusion     the creeping

quicksand rising around

bonded children’s necks

shine a light on the square

illumination and refoundation

impossible words to comprehend

for old grey men with ostrich heads

Alan Jude Moore is from Dublin. His collections of poetry, Black State Cars (2004), Lost Republics (2008) and Strasbourg (2010) are published by Salmon Poetry. His short fiction has been twice short-listed for the Hennessy Literary Award for New Irish Writing. Translations of his work have been published in Italian, Russian and Turkish.  His website is

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