Temporary Harbour

 

136

Much like the clouds
The salty mane
His weary squinting eyes
Otherwise engaged
They turn away – distant
Seaward of course
Rising hills, hand in hand
With windswept wharf
On this – port town morning

Stripped to the waist
His tattered nerves
All sinew, bone
A shattered wreck
For what else is a man ?
Etched in his arm (though faint)
A Sharp blade dagger
With serpent-snake entwined
‘It’s a mugs game’
Though he knows no other
Vida, Loca, Life

And it’s hard to tell
At this unholy hour
Not easy to separate
Early morning condensation
With rancid fumes he blows
Fine, dark, laced with rum
Navy cut tobacco
Cracked leather pouch
Damp – smells faintly of
Tainui earthly scent

Warm air sits heavy
Thickly set
Blue smoke sails high
But one could smite
Like wind so foul
Shred it with a knife
Just a sailors knot
And that’s his lot
‘It’s a mugs game’ he says
It’s on the waves
Shot through my blood
Vida, Loca, Life

©Orion Foote, 2015

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