Kelwyn Sole


A gripping story

The frightened noon of the sentences,
as your fingers peck at the computer:
chickens that will not look up at the sky

in case it falls on their heads.
will appear, in an urge for fantasy,
as if they were people, talking,

though they are not for they cannot
love, or sing, or shit their sickness out
onto a street, or even show you a real face

resembling your own. Despite reports
of storms hoving in from every place
to you it's now just pixels. Otherwise,

who is it you live beside, becalmed,
two ships made out of habit, whom you try
to talk into a passion? Think carefully,

for you hold a small world in your hands.



The ship boarded. I left behind
both mooring and mountain
in dawn's washed-out light;
left buildings of pale stone
- in one you were sleeping -

saw the harbour front dwindle
touts yelling, yachts at anchor
quay at length breakwater too
all that's solid all that has stood
between me and a roistering sea.

Which of us sleeps, who stays awake?
We who knew love, to leave it, dare
we persist, face each day exposed?
Bodies tremble with longing but
briefly. Then all grows cold.

That this new light will gain force
once the breeze starts to bluster
and underfoot the deck totter
I know. At last my sight's veering
towards the sea, away from you.

From the shore, love's song wavers
is further away
                        in the wind's bugle
so far from those months we both
were aglow with its god. You
did not turn to me: now, turn, see  

the sun's glare strike at the sea.
Over swells shear black birds:
False Bay under me. I've lost,
now I'm lost at sea. All at
sea. What can't be fathomed

glints its last then is dragged
       just an anecdote in
an archive of drowned men.
Now I see: in the long run
it's only the wind will endure.


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