An early draft. If you prefer to listen to ‘Encoded’ please click below:


Seeds and fragments

Fell as I held it.

Dark dot-dashes on my table.

Doddery cues marking

Steps in a cyclic dance.

Four decades since

Grasses were picked

Under vaulting African heavens,

And woven by a bird.


Before the sky twisted a sudden storm,

And, busting a flush of nests,

Windfell a hundred wicker skulls,

For voyagers to puzzle on.

‘Young Ian might like one of these…’

Aye. Thanks Mum.


Strands weft in

The yellow bird’s bill,

Brilliant colours

Warping space into form

Under an acacia bough.

Structuring this messy weave,

A criss crossed coorie

For Moses in a tree.


‘But we’d been here before.’

And they had had to return.

It was in the local paper,

Back home.

For who but Sinbad,

Flew to such

Far flung continents,

In that once upon a



He can’t sing while he’s weaving,

Both are dear crafts.

Energy expenses,

To be met with a single bill

With which to pay

In and out and shuttle through

To paper a higgledy

Parcel for his

Precious offspring.


‘But we’d been here before.’

And he would have to return

The collecting child of seven

Lead by the dreamer.

But no –

Really before.

Before even ever beginning,

We had been here.

Known this wild heat,

Known this bright sky,

And fallen to rest.


Morse dots dashed on paper.

After so long, I wonder,

Do random seeds

Carry a message yet?

Moistened, might they

Still brew contraband

Motes of living stuff?

Wee non-zero bits

Of life.


About stevedsmart

Steve Smart is a poet and visual artist who also has experience in information design. View all posts by stevedsmart

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