No 17 - Spring 2008
A Porthcawl Dolphin
The sea in an hour falls forty feet.
When it is safe I come out of my cupboard in the cliff,
this cave the hyenas want to take from me.
One day their bones will lie soft as thistledown here
under these animals on the cave walls,
alive in the ochre I mix, the creatures yet to come.
So I step out to find what I know is there.
Up on the ledges under the crest, under
the lavender that lies in petrol pools,
the ocean is falling through these crevasses
like some service elevator filled with laundry bags.
And no, it will not take long.
There it is, the sea-calf,
hooves still bound in their white bootees.
But to me it is a little skewbald foal
the dam had dropped in this desert and left a week ago.
Already the bone of its beak is yellow as bamboo,
already my familiar is a temple
for the bottlegreen crabs of this place, forgotten,
almost unreachable this place, the crabs with their eyes
on lightning rods, crabs come with ratchets and claws
like pearl-handled derringers, come with their cold blood’s appetite
that can never be sated in these limestone malls
blue under the moon, these crabs, jewelled and furtive.
For the future belongs to them.
I have painted them in my homestead,
these sea-sawyers stealing from every salt-stoppered
limestone stoup, from rock pools like immersion tubes,
from black bayous where the sun’s systole has ceased.
And look: how they grip their ground.
My shadow is nothing to them now.
How they swivel when they feel my step,
their sensors in a switchboard, their eyes a morgue
of diamonds under the thrift.
Yes, I could sweep them from this ledge
no wider than the shelf where my books wait.
But tomorrow they will be redeemed and ready with their
- 10th Muse
- Angel Exhaust
- Blithe Spirit
- Brando's hat
- Brittle Star
- Cannon's Mouth, The
- Coffee House, The
- Dream Catcher
- Floating Bear, The
- French Literary Review, The
- Frogmore Papers, The
- Global Tapestry
- Grosseteste Review
- Homeless Diamonds
- Interpreter's House, The
- Journal, The
- Lamport Court
- London Magazine, The
- Modern Poetry in Translation
- Monkey Kettle
- Neon Highway
- New Welsh Review
- North, The
- Obsessed with pipework
- Oxford Poetry
- Painted, spoken
- Paper, The
- Pen Pusher Magazine
- Poetry Cornwall
- Poetry London
- Poetry London (1951)
- Poetry Nation
- Poetry Review, The
- Poetry Salzburg Review
- Poetry Scotland
- Poetry Wales
- Private Tutor
- Purple Patch
- Rain Dog
- Reach Poetry
- Review, The
- Rialto, The
- Second Aeon
- Seventh Quarry, The
- Smiths Knoll
- Strange Faeces
- Tabla Book of New Verse, The
- Tolling Elves
- Ugly Tree, The
- Wolf, The
- Yellow Crane, The