By Tani Law Rey

Where Old Men Plant Trees

My foreshortened - scraped twig - twisted root - sub-prime - sub-man
stick-figure arms - flail concentric - like the Dow - in rotorcraft whorls -
Whirling from the black smoke - older than my forest - more of a plantation -
I would take off all of my - wear-torn bark - summoning saytrs from -
The aether - with my rage-dance - as our thicket of starved-out saplings
- gnash their ent-milk teeth - spitting out balsa - to gust away the embers -
That leer at new growth - scaring away the wild half-life -
Our birdnests are bare snares - catching migratory plastic -
Carried on the trade winds - Rushing from vortex -
Fuelled by a firestorm -
Of burning, churning, dollar-pulp.


Her umbra coils in before you ever see her fingers tip
The scales and send out tenterhooks to catch the wide-eyed eager fish
that leaps out to swallow her whole tented in a parabola
Of counter-point and implicit threat,
But her Butterfly effect, hawkwing-spread, godrays casting glucose shine,
Rippling ahead, is a lure. And as the fish swallows, unwittingly,
It heralds her arrival.
You see her,
You see her distant, Kafkaesque, in her friends-of-a-friend,
Mentioning the monologue mountaineering upstream,
Firing repartee to one another, circulating smuggler’s tails, second-hand,
Reeling in the timeline, head bowed in archery, zeroing in,
The fish, spluttering, blood-mouthed,
Thrashes in incoherence,
Bubbling in consonants,
inconsolable and crass-posting,
thrashing on the far shore,
Sorted by controversial,
Scales tipped in judgement,
filleted in the screenlight,
Roasted until edible,
Consumed until stale.

Tani Law Rey is a gen-z, queer, neurodivergent, transatlantic, nowpunk travelling poet and emerging sci fi-author. A former student of Cantonese and Native Alaskan poets, Tani has studied the poetic arts across the globe, from China to the Bering Strait. Readers can follow Tani’s poetic output on twitter at @SharkThatWrites . Tani’s work can be heard live at the storied Christiania Commune, in Denmark’s capital region. Tani’s poetic subjects range from personal confessionals to historical fiction.

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