Marooned in a moment

Its desert-isle scale | vast and yet intimate <ocean of clocks ticking>

All those solitary walks along the shore | the patterns of the surf on the sand | a far-off sound like chrysalis | and the tiny horns of toy huntsmen

<Spanish lace>

Many vanish into such places | and whole worlds fetch up there | Mermaids are washed ashore | among shreds of | gum-tree bark and drifted | coconuts and crumbs | of Tim Tams in the corner | of a smiling mouth | When they take off their bathing caps, their shaken-down hair | is scented with chlorine and lavender | Their limbs are so long | And when they look at you, the mermaids don’t seem to mind | about anything, even though | the evening shadows lap up the pool, the air is growing | cooler, and | they don’t have | money for the bus ride home

Tally-ho, Tally-ho | the tilt–shift | huntsmen cry | and their pinks | whirl through the air | like petals | But | you | don’t | move || Their world is | trivial | You brush away the | hounds like | grains of dry sand | Only in the moment she smiles, sadly, as if she knows something | you don’t know | and can never | know | will the waves | rip open their chrysalis | over and over, over and | over, and | over and | over…


from the series hypergrammar (open-ended, 2012–present)
(this poem, August 2012)