ANNE McKERROW

 

FOR JENNIE

 

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.

 

 

DREAM

 

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.”

 

 

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SENTINEL POETRY (ONLINE) #30, MAY 2005. ISSN 1479-425X