Stateless – Oz Hardwick

after Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Hymnen


Fast laughter: insects repeat, repeat: time

passes, glides, cuts, repeats, repeats: metal

breathes deep and sings:


the world speaks in accidental phonetics

drawn from static wires in empty beds,

charges of cars on mountain roads, cracks

of branches in virgin forests, all drawn

from blind sky.


A star falls like fruit: repeat, repeat: stone

falls like money: hair falls like spiders:

air grows thin:


insect screams: choir sings: village pond

ripples as fowl paddle, fish kiss bugs,

a child drops a rounded stone that flashes,

darkens, disappears, sinks into the mouth

of dreaming Mímir.


Orchestra of geese, grass and steam: flags

burn like nettles: repeat, repeat: settling

into sea/light waves:


compasses spin: air freezes and falls,

perfect geometric sculptures, each bearing

unique fingerprints, blind compound eyes,

a portrait of a dead king or queen: drowning

orchestras play on.


There: there’s the monster/dragon/tree,

shifting with the flick of a synapse: repeat,

repeat: breath held:


airport/motorway/lighthouse: darkness

brushes the bellies of clouds, reclines

on foam/field/tarmac, fills all space between

closing eyelids: red erupts open wide see

white lights multiply.


Passport stamped with pressed insects: ice

bright traces like silver music: another

border: repeat, repeat:




Oz Hardwick

Oz Hardwick is a writer, photographer, music journalist, and occasional musician,

based in York (UK), whose work has been published and performed internationally in

diverse media. His latest poetry collection is The House of Ghosts and Mirrors

(Valley Press, 2017). Oz is also Professor of English at Leeds Trinity University.

Share your thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.