Whoops Tour of Mediterranean

When the hors d’oeuvre octopus slid down my throat
it marked the way the better to retrace
its path, when later, putting out the boat,
I tamped it down with champagne to erase
both’s bubbles. Now the creature’s arms refloat.
They, eight and eaten, pulse and flex in place
to wait the wine tide’s ebbing to reblossom.
I should have stayed at home and stuck to ’possum.


I thought, if I had accomplished something, how different I would be.
I heard wind hassling halyards on the boats stashed here with me.
I walked out on the floating dock. I walked back to the shore.
A gull disputed aerial space with a crow who wished it more.
They flew. Wind blew. The moored boats stayed tied fast.
I breathed a sigh, and wondered, whether, it would be my last.


Eight bells on board. Ashore it’s four o’clock.
Time for a drink, the tourists and I think.
The terrace on the waterfront is chock-
a-block with whistles warbling for the clink
of glasses pushed along the long bar’s zinc
and on to trays the waitress swishes out
to praise in all the languages that shout
discretely – we are civilised, though dry –
as sailing Europe pushes the boat out
and wine regales us all with glasses high.