Orange crabs with knitting-needle legs.
Gulls darning the fish-scale sea.
There were cliffs, a cave, floating on the shifting silt of my
There were blue-green pools where shellfish stuck
to the limestone on fat white feet. My mind sticks.
He showed me where fresh water sprang from a crack
in the camel-coloured rocks, where berries
grew thick on pin-leaved shrubs,
where fish that glittered purple-pink in the sunrise
could be caught.
Iím caught. Bought and sold. Cold
in this dead land, sand itching in the hot air.
Too much sky. The clouds never were that high,
Where are the greenwoods, darting birds
like stained glass,
the monkeys leaping that wanted to be birds?
I used to think that I would fly one day,
like Ariel, aloft on a spray of laughter,
slitting the air like a paring knife, giddy with the sun.
I could see him in the twilight. At noon
he was bleached out. He hid behind the sky.
I wish that I could hide. Itís sweat-hot here,
blood-hot. Heat pulses through my skin.
Thereís wet sand on my arms and in my hair. The breaking sea
is all that I can hear.
My shoes were lost somewhere.
The breaking sea is all that I can bear.
If you have any thoughts on this poem, Louise Wilford
would be pleased to hear them.