In Your Bee Box
I suppose my mind is your box of bees.
The noise outside is nothing. But,
caught in my tight-boned skull. Caught,
the buzz breeds. Vibrates. A saw against my bone.
Trepanning makes the most sense. Somehow
we will let your bee cloud free. Somehow
we will unstop this trap and loose your bedlam
of angry wings rubbing on wings, the words
of women, the chatter of children, the low,
low hum of men in their wise assurance.
The smell of venom is a thought inside. It
reeks in here, an acid smell between those wings.
Right now my skull is your tight wood box,
the world a shrill of vengeful mouths. Your hands,
your thick-gloved hands that carry me, hold some
promise, the companionship of a ghost. The thought
that if you did not survive, I will. When winter
creeps its deadly cold your bees will die. My skull
a skull again, my mind no more a hive. I
will outlive you all.
Isn’t There a Fanatic Somewhere in All of Us?
What is it with you people?
You, who stand with your heads above the mist,
you with your Easter Island faces,
turned to the here and now, outward looking.
And I, here I am, elsewhere.
I balance on my straw raft,
float toward the horizon,
sea brine seeping past my toes.
In my delirium
I seek fresh water in the depths
and see monochrome men,
the lingering smoke of cigarettes,
the watch inturned and the hands adept.
Somewhere I lie with my face downturned,
my hands downstretched, catching
currents that left the shore decades past.
I couldn’t be happy in bobby socks
and outspread skirts. But.
But I will stand in the shadow by the dance hall wall.
But I will watch them spin.
I will watch the play of muscle under skin,
the lucid eyes and the dark ones.
I will watch the sleek wet cling of cotton,
grained on film and left when life was vital.
I can look through the sheer water
and dream of the oxygen beneath the depths.
And dive, and dive again, and bring back pearls.
To Darwin, on Hearing of the Twenty-Two Chronometers on the Beagle
Did the ticking drive you mad?
Twenty two clocks to tie you
to Greenwich, to the damp land,
to the paved streets and spires
and the blank glazed windows
of progress and age? Did time
become fathoms deep, and the
dwindling abyss transform to
thoughts of deep, deep time?
The blind eyes of bottom dwellers,
the feelers of those that survived,
the wellings of primordial soup
perhaps flavoured your thoughts.
(you never saw them. We know
you never saw the elemental broth,
the creatures like to dinosaurs
in a Blackpool of phosphorescence.
But the mystery, perhaps. The thought
that things exist beyond your imagining.
The thought that time stretches, deep
and wider than the books all told.
Perhaps that ocean thought stirred you.)
And when you thought of long
lived turtles in their shells and short
lived finches with precision beaks,
did you think of second hands and hours,
the life of a gnat and a continent,
the age of the rocks on which the
lizards sunned? Did, perhaps, each
degree of longitude between your feet
and the Greenwich mean, and the depths
of ocean between, seem like an age
in itself, your life fragile, stuttering
on the shore, and all your hopes placed
in wood and the subtle degrees of time?