the tide


I wrote a kookaburra
perching on a paling fence
motionless in the rain,
sharp eyed waiting for a worm,
but the words left worm impressions
as shallow as my florid thoughts,
washed away by the garden sprinkler.

urban environs

It was once a loud industrial location,
but now it’s slightly damp: Venusian squid
with brollies promenade in the quiet streets
while humans pass their time
overpainting all their windows.

Beyond the peripheral
lies knowledge, buffed and polished,
and it’s my weakness to glimpse
a future where I might find
the decimal point of truth.


In those days of unrelenting sorrow,
the waning sun
mistook itself for the moon,
everything was shaded by
the interstellar fleet,
the conquerors of our world,
and those who once were worshipped
were no longer.

The invaders led the brightest luminaries
to a land beyond the ancient seas,
left us all behind with wishful dreams
of joining them.


You want this and you imagine that.
Here, I’ve packed your longings and desires
—they are donuts, some with filling and icing—
in a travel bag.

Take them,
go to the temple on the western shore
of the Isvénia Ocean,
watch the sun as it drowns
and boils the waves.
There’s a tea bag for the beach as well.

if bus tickets were horses

I left Dariela, a formal goodbye,
and took the bus,
but in my mind I was flowing in a river
running through
an inhospitable land
irreversibly to the sea.

I reached the temple, queued to
enter the mirrored nave where pilgrims
could find their dreams
reflecting in infinity.

In a waking vision,
I discerned a bee’s mosaic
honeycombed through the eyes of strangers
with their crowded unattainable illusions.

Craved by some, I saw glittering, jewelled inventions;
for others, their own reflections
waiting to be found and loved;
an occasional takeaway with donuts
and low-cal soft drink;
a soft warm darkness—
the unreachable rest at the end of their paths;
and in the distance, eternity,
everchanging, mythically real.

In my personal kaleidoscopic center,
a kitchen shelf,
hexagonal rows of jars,
each labelled with a date,
and every one of them
filled with a summer Sunday
from when the world felt right.

All a little implausible,
but still
the tide was turning on the shore,
running inland
to carry me home to Dariela.

It’s easy to confuse the squid with the SQUID. One is often served in Italian restaurants while the other detects minute magnetic fields through quantum state changes in a superconductor: it’s usually not listed on menus and rarely comes with garlic.

the tide (detail above)

20 thoughts on “the tide

  1. “You want this and you imagine that.
    Here, I’ve packed your longings and desires
    —they are donuts, some with filling and icing—
    in a travel bag.”
    Beautifully expressed. Your words reveal something I think we all experience, some more keenly than others. But whether that’s true or not, it’s beautiful to read. I love the references to donuts. Make mine with custard filling. 🙂

    • Thanks BG. Yes, we do. For me, desires are a part of us, no matter what. We have all sorts of positive and negative words for them, but they make us strive and hope. I wouldn’t be without them, take them everywhere I go 🙂 and the funny thing is I imagine destinations where I won’t have them. I prefer simple cinnamon, although I only have a pink icing pic apparently. 🍩

    • You’re right Randy. I forgot that emoji display is computer system dependent. Perhaps it’s an allegorical lesson about human desire. We paint our desires on other people and don’t see them as themselves. 🙂

    • Thank you Frank. Don’t really know why the pieces are growing. There are a few extra dimensions around the house but no more of the fourth one: time ⏳ . I’m hoping to get my time machine going with a single day loop so two of us can write together. Hope we don’t disagree. 😸😸

    • Thanks. Maybe we don’t have much choice about what we remember, but for me there are sunny moments that stick, often unimportant at the time, and they’re a kind of blessing.

  2. I remember a lot of inconsequential things yet forget the important ones I am supposed to. your writing transports me back to days sitting under the kapok trees watching the tide knowing it will come in but watching all the same.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Singledust. 🙂 Yes, there’s a lot of memories for me on O’Connell St, a block away from the Bay, where I grew up. I think the tide is a kind of meditation.

      Maybe what we remember only seems to be unimportant, and what we’re supposed to is not so important. With old friends, I might remember a smile, some little thing they said, a place we were … but I don’t think it’s random, I think there’s some sort of deep resonance there, even if we can’t express it.

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