Sea Symphony

Toes, waist, chest, chin, then swallowed by the sea,
I’m a mermaid, brought up on ear popping sandstone rock,
sent to salsa through a musical element not our own,
where fish may do-si-do through lace of flimsy lungs.
Dive with me heartlong through musical wave ranges,
sparking the excitement of a gazillion castanets.

Let me tantalise you with Chalchiuhtlicue’s castanets,
while jealous Eurybia pirouettes by us in the sea.
Now we’ll reach below the surface for deeper ranges,
and I’ll show you how to roll the waves and rock
in ecstatic freedom, with fine, uninhibited lungs,
until you exclaim, and claim the water as your own.

Then you and I can find a soundscape of our own,
a balletic collaboration, moving beyond castanets,
to a place where dolphins commune and human lungs
split into feather gills, fleet and sexy for the sea;
where we will meet our thermal origins, ready to rock,
and pause to play great fossil pipes at unheard ranges.

When we have absorbed those harmonic underwater ranges,
and sea beard grows between teeth not quite our own;
when we have become our ancestors, and belong to the rock;
somewhere above us still will play those spangled castanets,
and as you lay yourself on my shelf beneath the sea,
so the dance of our bodies will return us up with new lungs.

First breath, as we surface, oxygen thrust into salty lungs;
First cry, as we emerge, sound splintering mountain ranges;
First swim, as we splash, amazed, to the music of the sea;
sent to salsa through an element not our own,
accompanied by the clap of Chalchiuhtlicue’s castanets,
we’ll reach a place where water drums roar on sandstone rock.

We’ll help each other up, upon the drums of sandstone rock,
and, beating chests, exalted in our triumph, fill our lungs
with air, sea below us clapping – a gazillion castanets,
we’ll sing of life and rock and roll and mountain ranges,
and know the music of the earth, which we can never own,
but that we clambered up to dance to, from the sea.

From our hold upon this rock, the clapping of castanets
and our own song, belted with the mighty power of human lungs,
rings out across mountain ranges, and to the bottom of the sea.

Hand Recital

These two hands are both my boundaries and my open gate

raised up to signify life and catch my breath, and as I ponder

they take the pen to write, dipping sotto voce ink,

and hearing hidden passion with sentient finger tips.

.

How these two friends push and press and work together,

folding over dough in pas des deux parenthesis,

gathering to cup a warming brew or comb through hair,

iced blue in deep snow pockets, in summer – full red and ripe.

.

Comfortable in prayer, who would judge these anguished two

for uncommon deviation; a desperate grab in tightened times?

Ignited in knuckled protest, closing angry fists as if to fight?

Look down then to your left and to your right.

.

My industrious two return to sew and knit and thread

and wrap and cut and spread and meet and reassure

and weave between expression and caress.

And when you go they’ll wave and wipe, go mix a cake.

.

Each day they pick and pour and weigh, these two hands.

In doubt they shift and shy, but regrouping bear me up,

my loyal retainers, remaining after fair has faded,

brushing ebb and flow as time is plucked and dropped.

Old Year

Old Year rolls towards the edge:

all but cliff-tipped and crown-cropped,

he grizzles over sticky mince pies

and thrice cooked turkey,

downs a last guzzle of mulled liquor

and stuffs his pockets with fruit cake.

.

He will have none of party preparation –

“like celebrating my own execution”.

Instead, he catches up on old TV

plays Cluedo with the kids, who call him Mr Black,

and packs for emergencies:

no-one knows how it will happen this time.

.

Still,  warm gloves, tin of family biscuits,

and swimming goggles,

he’s ready to put his legs in one elastic

and catapult himself  into the next place.

If it turns out less than nice,

chances are, he won’t be there for long:

Years generally quit before outstaying their welcome.