The detective and his client continue their post-apocalyptic search for what lies beyond the obvious sea. For implausible reasons, the detective wrote a fantasy of his own death in his diary which he passed to his client, who is now keeping a record of their journey. The Detective started off here.
It was no-one’s fault, not his nor mine;
even the bivalves weren’t to blame.
They have capabilities beyond
our human constructs
yet they’re living creatures,
borne below and risen
from deep within the earth.
What we see as willed destruction
is only of their bivalve nature,
without morality, cognizance of right and wrong,
any more than earthly predators:
fiery tigers or corporations
with limited propriety.
It happened on Parramatta’s outskirts,
where we’d stopped for tea and bickies.
In the remnants of a Seventy-11,
the detective sought out mineral water,
sparkling at a pinch,
for the axolotls and the penguins,
until a ravenous bivalve joined him.
Its exothermic acid burned with alkali,
gasoline leaked and flamed,
New Year fireballs rose from the explosions, dimmed in sooty clouds,
We held a simple ceremony beneath the falling ash.
Penguin T in somber black and white
cheeped a requiem in Latin,
while I wiped my eyes and blew my nose,
whispered my name
for his ghost to know.
Now our pilgrimage continues
in the cool of morning
when the flaming penguin god
awakens from her snowy dreams,
and through the evenings when she waddles
to her nest beneath the world.*
We’ve crossed the mountains single file,
their scratchy bushland and mocking kookaburras,
left the urban ruination far behind.
Out into the western distance,
where the heat haze merges with the mistakable horizon,
I’ve seen sparks and flashes, glimmers of expectation,
day by day growing clearer.
The age of modular concrete,
of modulated inconvenience
and the incipience of magic,
is in the past, obliterated.
But somewhere on the westward plains,
our struggles will be new ones,
and I’ll recall a touch of truth
that I once knew.
*Penguins think the earth is flat.
The Tyger, William Blake (1794) with final verse:
Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
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My poem Later Magical Tourism, along with some creativity tips, appeared in the Winter 2017 Issue of Mirror Dance, with winter possibly meaning summer. Mirror Dance is a quarterly magazine with issues available free on-line. Continues →
rain cycle (four parts) detail above