Woolloomooloo reverie

The war starts in the way
You pass by anchored ships
Nary a glance, at the rats on the ropes
Departing with that verminous intelligence 
In swift, prehensile fingers
Eyes dawn red

Salt on your lips
Envied by gulls (unequally envious)
You discard the mess
They only for a moment
Fold an outstretched wing
A squall to bite
The morning a lament
The plane of the horizon
Tilting a few uncomfortable degrees

Dizziness is relative (you think)
To the sea in your inner ear
Slowly soughing
While from an unknown distance
(You are still with me?)
In the imagined interstice, stars fading in the bruise

The world tilts like a toy on its axis


There in the seance 
of pewter dark
and falling afternoon
I ran from the rain child’s father 
snail shells eye empty
seismic, abrading, polished sutures grey
skulls in catacombs
tumbling, unmade 
with that peculiar, watchful nonchalance
of sacrifice gone too far into neglect
the gods respond
with neither grace nor storms 
but the dinosaur fragments
of fossil nacre, edges inviting
pressure against, the too soft mollusc
silent, salt and piercing
pedestal like a kiss
lightning fragile (immediacy erased)
in the afterimage inverse
of the slowly leeching beachcomber’s
lope long passing steps

A sailor’s lament

Galleon ladies in death masks go
Dreaming of lost Mexico
The dead have gathered on the strand
To listen to the echoing
The sea is rising and the sand
Encroach upon this widow’s peak
Soldiers red and soldiers blue
Abjure this slow pestilence
The brigantessas to and fro
Worry oar locks where follow
By my cull and clinker boat
Sailfish on the wing
Clean the ashes from your hands
Taste this salt to reminisce