tenaciously, a licking of flames
at a barbeque get-together
lets sparks fly into the gleeful smiles
of a man holding tongs:
the embers smart his eyes,
moving blown diagonally upwards,
towards the stars emergent;
his raw planted, thonged feet
kick out to startle a black crow
trying for scraps, stooping down and back up, eyeful;
so let the man expound his view
of politics, dear religion and australianness,
through this plumage of smoke
that rises in this version of hell,
the animal holocaust,
and all and sundry anticipating the flavours.

Marcus Ten Low is a poet, and an animal rights and antinatalist activist. He has been published numerous times in Quadrant and The Big Issue (Australia), and self-popularises himself @antibreeder1m on the major social media platforms. Many of his best poems have been written at strange and unexpected times of the night. He remains an involuntary client of Mental Health Authority, having been incarcerated on more than 20 occasions.