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Symbolic Uneasy

The Dial’s swung round again:
the Taupata autumns in berry clusters,
tight bunches in flawless contrast,
fire-orange in a roundness of green
at the window, where the neighbour’s
enormous grey cat climbs the step-ladder
in like she lives here. Summer is three
days gone, but the southern midday
heat has weeks left, and if I do not
do it soon it will be Spring before
the next break. Art has poured out
and still comes on, I feel it backed up—
I have only a little of the Fisherman’s
enthusiasm left for the catch, the hunt:
the skipper now plans to do deeper
searching, his new thing in, while I
have more of a walking on water buzz
clustering, catch poems, and coins, hauled
from a net set tidily on the boulevards.

And I give to you now, who is me, don’t
set out alone on the rough seas of the heart
if you’re not a confident swimmer. Read
the stars. Read the clouds, know when
it’s time leave. And, like the bigger cat
eating young Max’s snacks, check first
if there is not something pinching you
at the root of authentic desire. This is
the poem’s meat, it’s protein source. The
back is sore, and it wont uncoil better
fishing; the graveyard is full of that surety.

I stood here a year ago, after surgery,
at the window the berries fire from, saying hello,
change!, like a wedge!, lift up and go!
Just to get the thin edge in…I must get
to my son’s bookcase and find out
what happened to the train that got off
the rails to play in the daisies and butterflies
behind the Controller’s back. Adventure stories,
too, where the sailor was rolled to and fro
for months with the teaspoons of dawn
condensation to drink over his red raw lips
with the miniature pages of onion skins peeling
open and moving in the breeze like a well loved book.





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