Tropeland. Surreal estate.



In the Land of Trope

boxes of matches spontane combustiously,

self-ignite like passion.

Vampire bats appear as garbags snagged on barbed-wire fences

Butterflies float skyward like liberation


In the Land of Trope street lights go through the phases of the moon

while the real moon waits for the traffic lights to change.

Deep serene ponds resemble your eyes and babies’ cheeks are gardenias


In the Land of Trope ears roar like the ocean

when you hold them up to your shell

cellos are the waists and childbearing hips of country girls


In the Land of Trope cotton wool confined

to bathroom cabinets thinks it’s a cloud

forming over the ranges

the day sky tries to be as blue as the child’s pencil

while the night leaves itself deliberately empty

for the distant sound of a lone



In the Land of Trope sweat from armpits impersonates

cinnamon bark and vanilla pods

Similes assimilate later as comparative as a comparison


In the Land of Trope dark sky splits white lightning apart

and all poetry is black                                                   except for

the pink bits


In the Land of Trope nothing is like anything else

It’s as fat as a fat thing or as like as an as.

It’s as different as everything and like nothing else.



In the Land of Trope pine forests are as fresh as toilet disinfectant,

lemons smell as clean as dishwashing detergent.

Silver coins look like rain-filled sheep hoofprints


In the Land of Trope 2 a.m. clocks tut-tut that you’re not asleep.

Mountain scenes are almost as realistic as paintings.

Surreal estate.

leaves fall in love every autumn and

drums beat like a



In the Land of Trope dogs feel as sick as a man

wheels are as silly as eccentric children

and tacks never feel flat.



In the Land of Trope rainbows come blank

so you can colour them in yourself

from ultra-yellow to infra-green


In the Land of Trope pins are as neat as houses,

rabbits breed like the poor. A whip

is as smart as a sadomasochist



In the Land of Trope

money is mute and

humility talks.



In Tropeland

it’s better for you


and metaphor me


© rob walker

(first published Mascara Literary Review

May, 2011)

Also in tropeland (Five Islands Press) 2015

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