Sunday, 3 June 2012

Poem C


Totem

Behind the chain-link fence
the mobile homes 
shudder under the battering wind,
abandoned hulks
stranded in the dead time

and the day is weary,

dingy in the low light,
colour gone – 
even the road goes nowhere, trailing away
through barren dunes
where the wind stalks the headland.
 
On the gatepost

a totem sits still as stone,
hunched,
head bent,
of no consequence
in the scattering rain

when a sudden movement breaks his contemplation,

then the pose is fractured,
head twisting
in a neat swivel, half circle,
the gaze malignant and full-on.
Distracted, he shifts

and with short skips flits

to the next post as if to show a playful side,
post to post,
tracking the field’s boundary.
But it’s short-lived. Scything the air on arching wings    
he maps out his territory,

like a vengeful angel quartering the ground.

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