Christopher Middleton


Nietzsche’s Hands

Celebrated, the moustache,
And near enough ignored
His “beautiful hands”.

Capable on a keyboard, improvised
A polonaise, his own artistic
Compositions “dull and decent”.

He could see, some, but much swam, out there:
Knives and forks, print, street signs.
Then, his mind made up, he laid about,

Sank immense nets into the cultural acid.
When we winched them back in, on fingertips,
They rippled with rainbows — herring and sprat

The Flight

Just seen, running, and silver-gray
along the top tube of a fence between myrtles and me,
too slinky for a bird and even at this distance
unmistakably a quadruped and
nimble, some sort of unspoiled animal, but which?
It ran as if away
from a threat, peril was everywhere,
a footsole crunches it, it is mangled
by a tire’ s treads, hawk scoops it, turkey buzzard
pecks at it, no speech mitigates its pains,
even the cat fools with it, until, inedible,
it is kicked into the gutter. There she goes,