Over the steady, littoral ground bass one sees that
our ocean has four natty trims of lace.
Container ships go by like rectangles.
Cars down there are barely awake.
… be still now
Wren and honeyeater pay visits on occasion to
the outrageously national agapanthus,
surely a weed, though, in its near-violet profusion.
Sun butters at least selective bluegum trunks while
birds around are speaking myriad languages,
most of them urgently:
one sounds a keen mechanical bell, to what end?
… try to stay calm
Holiday houses still have chains across the drive.
Acoustically, cockies tear their sheets of steel
when they’re not competing for bird-table preference.
But look down the bosky slope, now:
a few more sedans trace the S-bend and small bridge
on their way to some other bay
where the foreshore has also been colonized
by a million toothy dandelions;
big cats live somewhere else again.
… be still, my heart.
Remorseless bass of big surf carries on.
Meditative on a brown park bench
at the top end of, was it? Hampstead Heath
in a colourful shower of ladybirds
I caught up the poet’s canny division:
ways of butterfly, ways of hawk
but how that sliced at an angle across
private polarity in fox and hedgehog,
his version at the unlikely least
native to this ochre land of ours,
whatever earthly ours my mean
and how we jink between polarities.
Evening’s extended mattress now,
its burnt orange slumbers all along
the sea’s grey sill. Nearer to hand
seven surfers are continuing
to provide their black punctuation,
rescuing waves from silvery repetition.
Inside the no there always remains a yes
and everything depends on yes.
I don’t know what to do about spirit,
An eternally colourless force,
Neither substantial nor airy:
Charged with great value of course.
It will not show up in that photo
Nor offer you an advance;
You can’t hide the stuff in a handbag,
Nor down the front of your pants.
It could be a little like rhythm
And must be infernally tough;
Just murmuring Buddhist or Moslem
Won’t show up its colours enough.
There’s a little to do with religion:
Morality’s part of its game,
And maintaining the nurture of nature
Without being randy for fame.
Now, I like to be friendly to spirit,
Which can have a warm rug in the hall
Or even behind the computer:
It just doesn’t bug me at all
Except that it does, like hay fever,
Exhaled by a putative god.
It’s a species of subtle schoolmaster
Who rules without using the rod.