Ducking Out

Mad mallards dabble on the Ijsselmeer.
I do not mind them doing so, for I
am on the Beach Atlantic, where the clear
wish wash of waves unites the dunes and sky.
When winter calls me (sunburn makes me old)
my soul will fly on memories sun braised
from when, together, we fought off the cold:
You, sun, and I, the zest we raised!
‘Ephemeral are us’ and leathered skin
are pittances (our taxidermist clucks!)
when set against the profit that rolled in
when we took sea and left the marsh to ducks.
A moment, Summer. One long moment, please,
till Autumn falls and glorious pleasures freeze.

Midsummer Slump

Pelicans peeing in Sanibel surf
before peeling down, scooping up fish,
fly ragged lines, brown bumpkins in the sun.
An osprey perches on the TV dish
that Clyde installed last year. Palmetto leaves
hang down rust brown hung over from the storm.
They dust the white rock path to tepid pool.
where spiders shade beneath its azure ledge.
And spider food sings in the unclipped hedge
that screens the pool and leads to breeze-mussed beds
in maid-abandoned musty pastel rooms
where silent windows look out on the sea.

Morning Glory

The blackbird sings instructions for his son
on how and when and where and why to fly.
His wife looks on and when she thinks he’s done
she shows their son the birdbath. Later, dry
enough for summer, Pa sings of frost and cats,
and Ma chants rhymes of when the berries ripen.
All three birds practise blackbird riffs and scats
as if they’re horns for music God pipes in
to underscore the beauties of this world.
The score extends and galaxies unwind
and hang half out of sight like flags unfurled
on misty moors at dawn while I, half blind
to what they sketch, smile as song fades away
for here birds sing the world alive each day.

Not a Lot of Glottal Stops

Red squirrels, a tired grey possum, and a werewolf.
The possum and the squirrels are not totally here.
Primarily, they are in another universe.
The werewolf is all here and totally hungry.

‘I am half hungry,’ says the possum, voice projected
from a heatsink and a distant frozen planet.
‘We are not half hungry,’ say the famished squirrels.
Our thin vicar, for the werewolf, was a snack

and our buttery Bishop wears full body armour.
’Buttery,’ moans as the werewolf, ‘and full-bodied.
I can’t afford such metaphors. I’m starving.’
‘They’re not,’ the possum answers, ‘metaphors.’

This dream dissolves in glop and glottal stops.

From SEMI-SENSED DREAMS, a series so far as I know of one.

Ulla

Blonde Ulla’s left her heart in Kristiansund
with school photographs in Helen’s husband’s file
under a lock he clipped one evening when she’d swooned.
She’s left the harbour lights that glare for miles
at the cheeky deep-sea vessels that they’ve mooned
since oil was found offshore. Her mother smiles
when she reads Ulla’s letters from a part
of Europe far away. Poor Ulla’s heart.

Ulla’s other parts take her to the Costa Blanca
and are themselves too much, her rivals pout.
Her brain is sharper than a custom Tonka
toy car with fins flint-sharp enough to rout
competitors. And, socially, to plonk a
leg near hers makes other girls lose out.
They’ve been men who loved her till death did them part.
There are men and women left who want her heart.

Blonde Ulla works the coast line from Valencia
to Alicante, helping automate
shoe factories and banks, intelligentsia,
and anything with cash. Her systems rate
with world leaders who experience agnosia
to all else when she speaks, and she is great
at language, and assisting in downsizing,
and, being heartless helps, ‘reorganising.’

This week finds Ulla at her own convention,
one she’s dreamed up, promoted, and now chairs.
Its theme is expert systems for prevention
of further global warming. Miguel stares
when she (he’d thought her mindless) says, ‘Encryption
of our source code guarantees, for those who dare,
they’ll own the only axe that saves the wood,
and do extremely well from doing good.’

Miguel (his English mother calls him Michael)
stares on as Ulla finishes. His trance
continues until Whap! he sees the mike’ll
give him a way to meet her. ‘Grab the chance,’
his heart berates his head, ‘Quick, on your cycle.
Think up a line to make her want to dance,
then pedal like a shaman to her side
and set your grin on Honest/Open/Wide.’

‘Your majesty,’ young brain-stunned Micky mumbles,
then, growing up, speaks on in dulcet tones,
‘Ms. Chair, excuse me, but the share price tumbles
at times like this. I feel it in my bones
that your mike’s bugged, and when the crumpet crumbles…
Excuse me, I mean criminals wire phones.
Don’t say another secret! Take the stairs
up to the ballroom, join the Astaires.’

Ulla watches Micky while she’s thinking
every Windows conference has its mouse.
But, as she notes the way his ego’s shrinking,
her inner id speaks up: ‘Don’t be a louse.
Perhaps he’s an investor, one for drinking
with and learning secrets from. Your house
of hard and software would be so much rubble
if you didn’t mix its brick with field-trial stubble.’

Miguel, who’s rich because he’s good at getting
the message while he cannot understand
the language, grins as he picks up the letting
go, the coming down, of Ulla’s band
of usually-up defences. ‘I’m forgetting
my manners and convention. Is your husband
not here? You’re single?’ He’s on cruise control
as he leads her softly to the spiked punch bowl.

Ulla, while she is not one to wallow
with anybody, customer or not,
has perfect legs that secretly are hollow.
They let her drink opponents on their twat
s. ‘You’re on, amigo. There is no Valhalla
for Vikings if they die not drinking rot.’
She drains a pint and with no backward glance
lets Micky catch her up. They start to dance…

She feels that sex, like film, the church, and fiction,
depends on skills suspending disbelief,
and she fantasises love should guide one’s friction.
Were her partner not in love, he’d be a thief
who would not miss her heart. She loves his diction
but dreams of tangos. Dancing was the chief
reason that she let him in her bower
before they’d known each other for an hour.

She wakes, amazed to see him watch her eyes
as were she sheeted, or he sought a sign.
She showers, strides the terrace while she dries.
‘If I weren’t Viking I’d not blame the wine.
I’d think his sounds not whistling snores but sighs.’
Miguel regards her, thinking she’s divine.
He sees her as an angel from above
and falls, his first time ever, into love.