I’ve just been informed it’s World Turtle Day.
As usual I’m a little slow off the mark
But I’m sticking my neck out now
writing a poem to Ginge
in his tiny turtle tank looking out at the world
I’ve been reading him some famous turtle poems
including Robert Lowells’ Waking in the Blue
but Ginge and I are shaking our heads:
the only turtle reference is ‘I strut in my turtle-necked
French sailor’s jersey’.
but the one by Mark Doty has a few really good lines:
‘a snapping turtle lumbered down the centre
of the asphalt like an ambulatory helmet’
Ginge liked that
I read him a few more but their meanings were slow
Perhaps that’s the point.
I hope he likes this poem.
I’ve been working on this one all day but I still
haven’t got very far.
“Will this do?” you say to your stomach at three in the morning. “Can I go to bed now?”
“Just a minute,” your stomach says. “Have I had enough?”
I know what it’s thinking: too little, it’ll come back for more; too much it will churn out nightmares.
“Perhaps a little more?” says the stomach, looking up at me pleadingly like a cat.
“No,” you decide, “You can have more in the morning like normal stomachs do. Come on.”
“Where are we going?”
“Where do you think?”
And it follows you back to bed, shoulders a little slumped.
I have a very bad feeling.
Tell me I’m wrong.
That I have written myself into obscurity.
That I was too clever by half.
That no one knew what the f*** I was writing about
in the previous post ‘Not a nightingale ode’.
It was a glass of red wine.
But that’s what happens when you put up a post
while you’ve been drinking
while you’ve been rhapsodizing about a glass
of red wine
the voluptuous girth
yr full mouth
tiny tiny waist
between forefinger and thumb
yr long tapering body
of yr beauty
of yr full-bodied flavours
I go out the front to get something from the car when a voice pipes up from the fishpond.
Hey! Where are the f*&*ing fish flakes?
It’s Goldie in her usual peremptory tone.
Mind the language, I say.
You taught us to alliterate, she snaps. You gotta love the ‘lit, you said.
I know, I say.
I got three ‘f”s out of that, she says.
You did well. It was just a little inappropriate, I say.
F**&&& the inappropriateness, she says. So where are the flakes?
Coming , I say.
That’s the trouble with having a literate family. They answer back.
Locked between his headphones
the scraggly haired beachcomber
scours the beach with his detector
its one perfectly round ear
listening to talk-back from the sand
music to his ears :
dollar coins , gold ear rings
or bottle tops , tin cans —
relics of summers empire .
On and on he goes
in his hand a miniature spade
and a blue bucket of hope
- pic by senila ilinykn from Unsplash