The Black Earth of the Arawak.

lady of flowers


The Black Earth of the Arawak.

The sun broke the sky into three pointed stones.
Eye stones, keep stones, earth stars, voices
Tall girls were washing the string from juicy leaves
To weave into baskets to crush the toxic sap
From a giant root.

We may be eaten by men or dogs he told them
The water glittered, and a pinkfaced monkey chattered

He traded for some iron to cut the Spaniards
The way they cut  up the womenfolk, only worse
If there was a worse way, he would find it…

They were the wrong people, they were just a  family
Eating their bread and praying  to a paper saint
Before they were felled beneath the tools.

A double rainbow spilled over the spent volcano
The two-note bird shrilled in the wet undergrowth.

Now we are as the Caribs
He said
Except we did not eat them


Veronica Aldous

all rights reserved 2018


Old Year


They cut through the hillside revealing the light.They found me with my coat sleeves fraying in soft threads. Velvet eyed in the twilight, as stunned a moonstruck doe!
With the door hanging on its hinges as though it no longer fitted its frame.
I asked you where you were going; you turned slightly but I could only see the hill beyond, gleaming as if it would take you forever.
I have your hair wrapped round my finger that will not let me marry.
The moon clock is never telling the right time now. I sift the leaf mould with this little gold sieve; trying to augur the crystals, the worms and the stones, the telling of what happens now…


Words and photograph by Veronica Aldous  2016 all rights reserved

Blue Coffee at Solstice



Blue Coffee at Solstice

Solstice runs its tongue along the horizon
Tasting the iron and salt in the forest’s edge
Light creeps round the tower’s clock
Showing the shattered side
As well as the perfect profile.

Animals run gravely past the slatted trees
Speaking with voices they found
Under the granite pavements:
Fox  duppies and bird eidolons
Cavort and snap in deep mists
Their eyes glint with a beautiful lust.

I watch a painted screen of doubtful shoppers
Dreaming of the king’s black horse
Kicking in his  rotted trappings he rises
Whickering  steam in the frozen air
Breaking the violent earth of the hill.

Veronica Aldous 2016 all rights reserved


November 6th


November 6th


Transfixed by a  climaxing  pomegranate
Rolling in a heap of  ravening tulips
The  indulgence of a dead hare –
Smooth elision of eucharist
And black holes, white cloth spills
A greedy cream over black skins
The lizard gnawing on rotting spoils
After iconoclasm, a boiling orgasm
A bacchanalian cornucopia
Of  yellow kumera,  belching melons
Skittering insects and an  ogling parakeet
Jaded and lush as a pumphouse dolly.

Smearing the canvas with oily syrups
Inexorable moulds and  auguries of exotic fish
Whilst in putrefying galleys
Sugars break out in a  sweat
The artist shrugs her shoulders
Wiping a greasy finger –

Always there is a carcass.


Veronica Aldous 2016 all rights reserved

The day after Halloween

The day after Halloween

At our cafe a woman keeps trying to catch my eye
Whilst I am trying to read a  badly subtitled tv
She is getting louder, but a thousand are caught
In a  bottleneck, a madman chops his hand like sabre
A serpent park is his monomania
His face is  mould white, a twisted hole for a mouth

This is attrition, barbarous  fog outside
Wrythen coils of  purblindness
Amid the carrot cake and cappuccinos

Oh she says to her boyfriend, his phone waved around

Just look at your fucking  head in that costume!


Veronica Aldous 2016 All rights reserved




Longing for the murmurous voice that once sweetened sleep
The moss buttoned  tight across  the breast, each dusty mould
Finely crafted,  the exquisite tuning of thrumming insects
Such silvery hands, each turning the leaves
As the little flames lick the bent twist of sage
Read to me
The unmade wreath of piney needles as bitter to bite
As the tumescent sappy bulges of decaying wood
I make this tree, your tree.

Lost Cities


Varanasi Windows-  Watercolour and collage on paper by Veronica Aldous 2016 All Rights Reserved

Lost Cities

The citadels beneath the Indus spiritises
My waking hours, as if just out of reach
There we go about our business
As if no calamitous anvil dropped
No bell clanged in a broken key
No drowning occurred, no cessation
Of the rhythmic pulses of co-existence
We hang the washing, eat and talk,

But deep under here, in sleep
I walk the labyrinthine snaking depths
Hear the ancient booms of sinking cargoes
Covered in ashes and dusted with pigments
Draped  in tattered silks I come and go

Tending the other, the elsewhere
Kneeling to plant  corals and pearls
That he he  may know that he is sought
Still honoured…
Beneath the terrifying ebb and flow.


Veronica Aldous 2016 All Rights Reserved