“How long till I die?” he said,
“How long till the childlike scrawl 
of the sea bleeds on black Hawaiian sand like chalk
on a rain-black footpath and
the mythical white scrim of the Southern
Ocean albatrosses is no longer seen?”

A sneeze, and everything changed;
but nothing changed; “Stuart, I'm dying,
this is how I'll die; strange, so terribly strange -
I've never felt more alive
Oh the awful paradox
of this red natives' plot!

A strife to haul these eyes  
high when the limbs are tinder and
the skull is a glittering
black cauldron of the smouldering terminology
of the science fiction of Philip Kindred Dick:
T-cell, HAART, CD4."

The wings of a glass 
butterfly break, a King Billy pine 
falls in a forest
of man ferns, something inside me - 
paradise - withers and

- Stuart Barnes