Galleon room | hold dry to the bitter end | Numerous | striped pots, many with displays of lilies | and step ladders erected | black chairs, black tables | ceramic mugs, bowls with cereal | a bowline slung across the foreground | a cleat hitch melts into the rope | and wires, too, with pegs attached | moustaches, sombreros, wine bottles fixed | a half-eaten pear on a plate | of white bone china | Great drift and bank | of sand | and waterspouts and abrupt squalls | the delicate ticking of a beautiful watch | right in, close to your sleepy gaze | and a subtle, manifold creaking | of timbers and rigging | a jar of memories | with myrrh and oranges | tractor parts | tulips from the Netherlands | pungent | and brilliant | spices | seeds | or the machine’s unconscious of the super-deep crude | Footsteps, up on deck | and the peep, peep of a silver-tone whistle | A cheval glass, at an angle | and on the floor, a solitary shoe | and shoes | lonely shoes | tell the longest stories | Voices, shaven from a cloud | children’s voices, infants’, ma mère | a glittering near-weightless tinkle | of Christmas lights drawn against | the attic darkness | the dog’s bark lopped | from Tuesday night | the firm stride | of a distant Papa | and the terrible | heroin son | his laughter | going back into the cloud again | finding him on his bed | manacled to echoes of Messiaen | the ivory, with more wires and keys | softening the Lazuli bunting | or the Cardinal rouge de Virginie | her French accent was really | terrible… | These landlocked moments | slice the boredom and exotica | disguise the grandeur and the age | and though we do not notice (and even, if we noticed, would not care about — but | we truly | don’t notice) | still singing | its pure, wry, weary song | the solitary shoe’s no longer there | only tales of the freight’s journey | the hook that caught the loose pyjama sleeve | and tore us into | one another | and the sublime and all-consuming storm | our days become | fraught and sweet and slightly pompous | and the words | tingling in our eyes and ears | like the ethereal wreckage from a dream | and in that dream | a port


from the series fp2 (on-going sequence of poems, commenced 2016)