Photography © Jaime Diaz Martinez


the die is cast

          A slight change in electrical potential;
          light and dark in shifting patterns —
          estivation, hibernation, coming to an end
          and rolling in ungainly, angular trajectories

          just to the limit of the board;
          aleatoric impulses, we slice and dice and
          chop and look for omens in the
          tripes of jackdaws, choughs,
          and plumage-faded hoopoes;

          ejaculations of despair and hope
          surprise us, springing to our lips unbidden,
          taking flight and falling back to earth.


     Constellations roll around
            the chill ecliptic highway
                        their scattered stars aligned
                                                      from here
                                      to form fantastic
                                beasts and heroes
                      caring nothing for our questions.


     Coffee grounds
                        swirled round the cup
                tatters of black lace
sable stippling on the white glaze
     gracious filigree of fortune
            dark pointilliste prediction.


     Cards laid and told
   cotton-laid and brightly coloured
                              (here’s a Page, and
                              here is Judgement
                      a journey foretold
                               to be avoided


     Clouds      wind-driven       protean
           hawk or heron         dove or eagle
                        a drowned woman
                                    face down
                                          signifying death
                                                by anxiety


     Candles in a ragged line            stretch back
their wax in stratified
                                    baroque brocade
              the past projecting forward
                         where the wicks are still unlit
                                              the future never has
                                                    sharp edges


Peter J. King was born and brought up in Boston, Lincolnshire. Active on the London poetry scene in the 1970s as writer, performer, publisher, and editor, he returned to poetry in 2013 after a long absence, and has since been widely published. He also translates poetry, mainly from modern Greek and German, writes short prose, and paints. His currently available collections are Adding Colours to the Chameleon (Wisdom’s Bottom Press) and All What Larkin (Albion Beatnik Press).

Jaime Diaz Martinez is originally from Los Angeles, California. He has been residing in Paris for over 30 years. AFter many years of seeing so many photo opportunities passing, he decided to pick up his camera from storage some years back and from that day on the camera has been held over his left shoulder ready to come across fleeting or ephemeral street scenes. For Martinez Being able to photograph Paris streets is a unique opportunity, a city with fifty shades of grey or just heaven.