Roll out the baking paper and sprinkle on the sand.
Distribute the twine.
From the skeleton, take three metacarpals, a furcula, a radius, and an ulna.
Position them carefully, add the truffles and the mushrooms, then place
the teaspoon of faecal matter.
And in that strange season, the beasts of the field
shall gather under both heavens.

That strange land shall welcome strangers.
And they will leave their mark upon it and upon whatsoever passeth
Through the gates of the forest
on to the plain.
“ Cornelius ? It’s Hendrik. Listen.
I can’t make it tomorrow.
I’ve done something stupid over on Hill 29.
Yes. I left a light on.
I know.
All night.

And the agaric is loose.”
An artist’s impression of the shapes thrown by
Pythagoras in his ecstatic dance
To the music of Hypotenuse and the Squares,
A dance that shook free the final proof
Of the Theorem that bears his name.
Now hear this, my people.
I wear the five-pointed crown of wisdom.
I know that in the North Wind
you will find words of frosty disapproval.
I know that the air from the south
carries the dead dust of desert monasteries.
But the sky grows dark
behind the Three Marias.
Slowly goes the Boat of Ra, passing through the Duat,
through regions of thick darkness,
of horror and dismay, where the dead have their habitation,
and Apep lies in wait for the coming of Ra.
Thus passes the second hour of the night,
And the third hour is at hand. *
* from the Egyptian Book of the Dead
“Cornelius? It’s Hendrik.
No, I couldn’t.
It’s still on, and the dyke is broken.
I got the brazier lit, but there’s seawater
as far inland as Delft.
And there’s worse:
The mushroom…the mushroom is missing.”
We’ve taken a beating, Number One.
The topgallants are gone, and it’s very nearly four bells.
You seem to have lost all sense of direction.
What does it say in the Instructions?

Clap your hands if you believe in mermaids
It’s right ten degrees rudder and straight on until morning.
At 06.30 on Day One, the expedition will leave
N’Xibbu’s cave in the Fish River Canyon
and follow a straight course north nor’east,
through Keetmanshoop and across
the red heart of the Kalahari,
all the way up to the Okavango Delta.
R*f ru*y 43156 seye yln*:
eh* erbif sci*p* 5450967
deggulg **ni neves gninnips
sarkahc *ah* 543 rev*
h eh* yl*h nre**ap foel112210 h*
At Karnak, ignorance is regarded with contempt.
Smallness of imagination,
the eye that sees no further than its own lashes,
is looked down upon with scorn.

For all things are possible.
Who you are is limited only by who you think you are.
Or have been before. *

* from the Egyptian Book of the Dead
B’s brisk and copasetic hooves are insured for $10,000 each,
and that buys a whole heap of paradiddles.

As he taps, skips, and leans,
the sand seeps slowly and very nearly silently
through the hourglass behind him,
while his tip-toed code
spreads out beneath him
like an alibi.
“ I’ve heard a rumour that you relish a bit of gossip.
I’m told you’ve said that a rumour
has to be fed from time to time
if you want to keep it alive.”

“ That’s hearsay… but perfectly true.”
Of the many sleeps in a lifetime,
the most nourishing are those that occur in daylight,
according to a report by Dr Canary Butterworth,
the 2016 Little Nemo Professor of Slumber Studies
at the
De Quincy Institute, Grasmere.
A workshop, a vigil, and a crossing place,
Sunday, Noctember 24th,
which becomes a guided journey
through the corners of the night,
from Vespers and the Gladsome Light,
until the First Hour.

Participants are reminded
To bring string.
The enormous Tenth Symphony of Hedwig Krenz,
“The Dogmatic”,
with its cryptic Pythagorean references,
has been aired only once.

The composer insists that it can only be properly performed
At 3,000 feet above sea level,
with the orchestra and conductor
at right angles.
The Kropotkin Ünterboot was built to find and tabulate
the exact moment
when summer becomes autumn
along the chill Tunguska River in Siberia.

The tiny clockwork craft was lost on its maiden voyage
in mid-September, 1905,
and Prince Kropotkin destroyed the plans.
Upstream, Muang Kau. Downstream, Muang Khong.
Over there, on the damp soil beside the monsoon-muddied Mekong,
and under a season of steam-stained skies,
something slim, moonlit, and vegetal has been watching us.
The nose gives you torn flesh and aromas of startled prey.
Notes of terror, perspiration, and a lightly-peppered finish.

Best begun at the rear end, and enjoyed warm after the chase
with a slap-tongued mouthful
of stagnant water.
When you reach the garden,
do not touch
Her Majesty’s crystal helmet,
with its charred smell and its blue ticking volts.

Ignore the king.
Do not touch his blanket.
It carries a cargo of smallpox
and will be twitching imperceptibly.
The successful candidate for the post of New Moon
will be single, round, pale,
a non-smoker with an unblinking stare
and a reflective temperament.

Humour is not essential,
but blue or gibbous applicants,
And those with day jobs,
Are not encouraged.
Polar leap. Earl.
Real Opera. More Aroma.
16 12 5 18 15 13 1 (80)
They say the pheasant eats the snake.
How fearful now his voice.
They made me make the same mistake.
No choice, they said. Rejoice!
Once the perfume of Memory is released,
Forgotten doors and pores all over Cerebellum City will open,
Synapses will flex, neurons unclench,
And out of one of them will flap
The skeleton of an earlier