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Robert Butler

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Storyboards, Illustrations, Music Videos, London, UK

Living in another country,

there is a different system of weights.

What you thought was heavy is light, and the reverse.

The units in use are available to all,

and can be found engraved clearly

on hearts and limbs.

This may entail surgery.

Respect the fact that here flames burn without light or heat

and are kept as ornaments.

You may queue at the railway station for your ticket,

but do not mention borders, crossings or frontiers

as being part of your journey.

The food is wholesome but

you may find your weight fluctuating.

This is normal and part of a period of adjustment.

Do not leave the ground.

Documents on your person will assist you in this.

The soldiers are for your protection.

Their bayonets are museum pieces and rarely used.

If I lift open the sash window, you can see

how their breath steams in the cold,

and how they stamp their feet to keep warm.

That one has lost a glove,

and tucks his hand inside his coat

like a favoured pet.

Imported watches command a high price.

You may trade one for

a bird of prey, or a deck of cards.

That was currency.

Have I told you yet

about the system of weights ?

In Another Country