Published in SOMETIMES IN BALANCE ( https://tinyurl.com/2h9msacw ), this is a ‘postcard’ from Plage de la Conche des Baleines, one of my favourite beaches, named for when a number of baleen whales washed up there in the 11th century. It is on the northern tip of L’île de Ré, 1100 km (690 miles) from home.
Tag Archives: Postcards
Ruffled Swans Sense Autumn
The goats go from the sun to shade
and those with collars nibble grass
while their kids, uncollared, pass
along the paths their elders made.
The voters vote in every town
while those who own the wealth of Spain
show an interest or feign one
in how the votes go down.
The almond and the medlar trees
shade the flock of goats and sheep
and frame the fields where shepherds sleep
off lunches of light wine and cheese
Miami eats the Everglades.
The hot swamp’s old talaria,
mosquitoes and malaria,
can’t match the workmen’s boots and spades.
A goat springs from a terrace wall.
A wasp eats an entire bee
except its eyes and one bent knee.
A sheep can’t cope and takes a fall.
The votes Dade County owners count
are those that help them win
the war on nature, do it in
and build a better bank account.
Dogs fight each other for a yard
that one of them is tied in
Bees build a hive in earth that’s hard
in the field where sheep get dyed in.
We fly down south and order goat.
We buy the best-priced dream.
We laugh that we don’t need a coat
and eat fresh figs with cream.
Key Largo Night Calls
Downwind from Winnebagos, big mistake,
we stake our claim for tent space, pounding pegs
into the rancid sand (a piece of cake)
and slap mosquitoes from our arms and legs
and ask ourselves how is it that the dregs
of as it were our high society
afford the biggest campers (they’re not free).
A sudden noise makes the gators rush,
the possums wince, the pink flamingos flee.
All nature quails when Winnebagos flush.
I have nothing to say. I write that down assiduously.
I used to think I’d be a writer when I’d themes
and wisdom, from experience. But, invidiously,
I’ve learned nothing matters as much as it seems
it will before I chase it hard and jealously.
The ending of the chase keeps best in dreams,
and here, in winter sunlight, by the sea,
I am happy saying nothing, merrily.
Drawbridge by the Drommedaris
Haze eats the horizon as I stand my watch.
Flocked swallows settle in a second then
flit up into the one remaining swatch
of sky the storm clouds have not painted in.
A woman hangs wet watch to catch the wind.
A yellow duckling bobbles in boats’ wakes
and boys dive where the inner harbour takes
its leave of city and runs to the sea.
The grey comes down as softly as the flakes
of bridge paint that the rust and time set free.
The Drommedaris, built starting in 1540, is a historic fortress tower in Enkhuizen that is now used as a cultural centre and for special events.
A shadow, first this week, slips on the stones
and falls in place. The plaza comes to life.
A sparrow watches cats cart off the bones
of cutlets from the tasca. Sparrow’s wife
welcomes back the sun with song and cluck
and curtsies to the cats as they pad by,
pause to stretch, and wonder if their luck
extends to lunch on sparrow. Worth a try?
A lizard who’s anticipating flies
tries his tongue out, flicking at the light
reflecting from the broken glass that lies
where the waiter let it fall last night.
I let the hot cortado chase my yawn
and thanks my stars for sun. Altea dawn.