‘It shone, just so, upon the edge
           Away, away, we're sad, they say’

                                  ‘The Carny’, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds


She’s soaring above us on a swing,
spinning, twirling, no wires,
just pinioned wings. Der Himmel über Berlin;
‘when the child was a child,
it didn’t know it was a child’ –

They turned the spotlights off.
The stars flickered on and descended
around us. Fireflies or fairy lights:
we’re all the same kind of magic.
I made a wish and it came true

in two heartbeats. A newspaper purse
shouting tangerine! – a picnic blanket
inside an apple – two spades buried
beneath palm trees. ‘Berries filled its hand
only as berries do, and do even now’ –

I raised a palm to my mouth
and smeared lipstick across my skin.
Crushed cochineal across the oceans.
Marmalade cheeks kissed by the sun.
A turnstile eyeing two/four/six/eight kaleidoscopes. 



‘The Carny’ was a song performed by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in a disco scene in the Wenders film detailed below.

Der Himmel über Berlin: literally translates to ‘The Heavens Over Berlin’, the German name of the 1987 film by Wim Wenders, its English name being Wings of Desire.

Lines of poetry quoted from ‘Songs of Childhood’ by Peter Handke; the poem also was a key motif in the aforementioned film.

View this poem on The Disappearing »