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.
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.
‘People are just as bad as they can be,’
Clara Brown told me.
That and Lord Acton’s pithy homily on power
explain the origins of the Anthropocene
and foretell as sure as hell where it is heading.
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.
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.