The concrete centre of the line.
A heavy, well-drawn India-inked path
Mapped by a spirit level.
The level of spirit thrumming
From the belly of a cello, deep and constant
A long-vowelled lullaby.
Buddha-rotund, you benignly impart wisdom
Whilst tapping ash neatly in a cup
Toes in the creamy shagpile.
A shiny Twenties ocean liner, cutting the flat water
into safe, separate parts.
Lost, humming a one-note harmony
The half-world rotating, and you
Floating along with it;
In an embryonic murk, milky comfort
Mixes blue mist, and a threadbare veil
Flutters, opaque on the shutters,
Caught by a sultry breeze;
Lazily repeating the lullaby of childhood:
Sleep, sleep and dream.
Now the blue tip of the hummingbird wing
Now the deep, quick flying dips
Flying, gasping across sunset hills;
Pink chalk pavestones crumble
In the heat of lemon-picking time -
The musky, oily smell of vines:
You remember, you remember.
But now, glittering and black, the veil conceals
As though through tears,
A door to indefinite dark corners:
Low places, broken porcelain doll faces,
Ju-Ju in bags hermetically sealed.
The grey hag behind the counter shakes her bones
Casts them, laughs and wheezes
In your palm are two bloodstones
(Dreamy, you ask
Do they portend well, please?)
Their sharp edges
Bite ridges into your hands
The crone whispers My child
Your tears shall grow as salt statues
Blown away by hot desert winds.
SENTINEL POETRY (ONLINE) #30, MAY 2005. ISSN 1479-425X