She climbs the narrow

staircase of the tower

which is circular, now

and then a door leads


off to a room, but the

doors are closed, and

only her shoes echo on

the stairs. Her father


has forbidden her to

climb the stairs, too

dangerous, Alice, he's

said, but she climbs


them in-spite, her sense

of adventure overriding

her anxiety of possible

punishment. She stops


half way. Breathes deep.

Her cheeks flush red,

her eyes bright blue or

green, depending on


the light, her mother

says, on kissing her

goodnight. She walks

up further, putting a


small hands on her knees

to press her on. Nearly

at the top, passing

another door, pressing


her knees, onward trot.

She stands on the top

step and opens a small

door that leads to the roof.


Fresh air meets her,

warmth of sun. She

walks carefully along

the narrow ridge, peers


out over the grounds below.

The gardener is busy

in the rose beds, back

arched, hoe in hands.


Her father stands nearby

pointing a finger, words

inaudible to her, linger.

She ducks in case he


looks up. She walks,

bending low, along

the narrow ridge to

the other side. There


she peers at the back

garden and looking

down sees the thin

maid carrying a bucket


along the path. Thin

arms and hands barely

managing to haul along.

A dog barks. Someone


laughs. She ducks, and

walks the narrow ridge,

and into the door, onto

the winding stairs. She


waits. Listens. She tiptoes

down one step at a time,

ears cocked, mouth dry.

She pauses outside a


door half way down.

She turns the handle

and looks in. The room

is empty. She enters


and closes the door behind.

A bedroom. Small bed,

washstand, cupboard,

chair. She walks on by.


She opens the outer door

and peers along a corridor.

No one in sight. She goes

out and shuts the door


behind. The smell of polish

and flowers. Shining

floors, carpet well brushed

and clean. She walks


slowly along the corridor,

dark shadows in corner

and doorways, lights off,

sunlight barely touching.


Her father is at the other

end talking to Fedge.

Baritone to baritone.

She ducks in a doorway,


bites a lip, fiddles fingers.

Had he seen her? The voices

carry along the corridor,

rising and lowering like


heavy waves. She peeps

out of her hideaway, eyes

bright against dark shadows.

Her father stands there


towering high. She smiles,

moves out, folds her hands

in her pinafore pockets.

Where have you been?


he asks, his voice baritone

deep and vibrating doors.

Walking, she says, looking

for Dolly. He sternly stares,


dark eyes burning. Not

been on the tower roof,

I hope? She looks at the

shiny buttons on his coat,


sometimes she can see her

face in them smiling back.

Oh, no, she lies, wouldn't

dare, too dangerous, to


go there. He looks her

in the eyes, and knows

she lies, a double wrong

to be corrected, his mind


suggests, but isn't sure,

if it was she, he saw.

Could have been another,

he'll ask her mother,


to keep an eye and watch,

not to be too content; or

her naughty daughter will

receive her punishment.

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Fleur de Lis


on Tops of Parisian Towers

'there is no place like home'


come with Emblems

carried high above heads

Song of Solomon


lilium inter spinas

Mary me Madonna

in your red Veiling


autumn crocus

kold Kill with beauty

Oleander close behind


coats with many arms

saintless The scent

Of your Lilly Flower












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She sits in the tower

Hair filled with star-fish 

Face made of zeros

Can't take the master

Can't fake the slave


Lightinging bugs catch-up to each other

In fantastic behind-lights

Cicadas sing out when the parade leaves town


Sing out

Slow glow

Sing out

Slow glow


Green as Grass-Heads


White as a Whale-Ghosts


Blue Bastard 

Red Reality


She climbed down from the tower

Star-fish in her hair





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