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Friday, 23 February 2007

The Man from the Night

"What kind of thought,"
I asked the man who came from the night,
"prepares a man for death?"
His hands were manacled
and from his collar hung a leash.

"The empty gurgles of the last
blood through the veins,
an ice-edged gasp, the lung's
last fling, a wordless trick
such as a domme might turn

"or pull, a page thrown to the wind,
a video of sea and sky, a childhood
dolphin ride (yet still the sense
of being tied) these narratives
are preparation of a sort," he said,

"but are sensation-driven. Logic
brought no man into this world,
or eased his passage here or later,
and will bring no comfort to him then.
We seek a thought sublime,

"subliminal, though incompletely beautiful,
as is the sea. One source there is:
one comforter, one hand upon my leash,
one Queen of Night and Bitch of the park bench,
one Mistress of the deep within." "And with

"that thought you are prepared to die?" I asked.
"It breaks upon me like a wave,"
he said, "a fist through glass,
a scarred back, shards of song,
thoughts fashioned dolphin-wise;

"or child-like images arise
with feelings such as floaters in the eye
or dark clouds on a summer's day
may bring - rogue instincts
out of sinc with mine.

"The sea swell lifts
and carries me, its kindly reach
takes hold upon the leash, the beach
receives me like a bird
(no vermin in its plumes),

"assures me I am rock
on which the world will shatter -
and rock, the chosen rock,
the sea will grind to sand...
So no, not die with thoughts of her,

"but rather knowing how a change
in us wrings echoes from the sea,
how portals open, myths are born -
vignettes perhaps - among which
my last swim with dolphins,

"seaward to their graves. The leash
lies limply on the waves,
but she does still what she does best:
she keeps my frothy, whipped emotions
strictly locked away."

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