Miss Communique

Miss Communique

The wind shifts
The smoke signal drifts
Miss communique
Dark clouds gather
Rain on its way

The storm
Drowns out
The beating of the drums

The pigeon flaps
Into bad weather
Its instincts turn haywire

Relay runners drop their batons

The town-crier is crook
Too hoarse to call
The news of the fall

The string between two tin cans
Can only stretch
So far

The mail boat hits a reef
I’m stranded on the pier
Pen and paper in one hand
Hope in the other

The coach is ambushed
The horses untethered
The mail bag never arrives

Telegraph wires come down
Nothing to be heard
Not a sound
‘Lest your ears
Close to the ground

Samuel Morse taps
Dashes and dots
‘Got an RDO
Taking the day off’

Alexander Graham Bell
Rings in sick

The message in the bottle
Sinks to the bottom
Of the deep blue sea

The valet mis-places the letter
Between the lobby and the study

The postie cops a flat tyre
The courier is stuck at the lights

Swooped by magpies
The telegram boy falls from his bike
In the trees
Nests with short sentences

The fax machine run outs of paper
The printer runs out of ink

The voicemail contracts laryngitis
The lights go out
In the dead letter office

Text messages get scrambled
Emails go AWOL
Instagram selfie-destructs
Facebook falls apart
Drones crash into lost pigeons
Snails eat the note in the letter box

Down on our knees
We rub two sticks together

Up above
Dark clouds gather
Rain on its way


Image sourced from World Book Encyclopaedia 1968


  1. Wow Vin, you had me from the first two lines & I love it all….’lights go out in the dead letter office’ – something about that double finality, the hopelessness. Even the sound of those three words together, ‘dead letter office.’ Sometimes it’s the sound of a word, the rhythm they provide when linked up, the feeling they give when in partnership & cooperation. We are all better for our collaborations, why should words be any different?

    I love this piece. Read it a few times, feel I will probably leave it here in my inbox & read it another few times over the course of the day. It says everything & overtly ‘tells us’ nothing – we don’t need to know – because its universal.


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