old poem – Beside the Sea at Night


written in 1974 when I was at the University of Toronto

 

BESIDE THE SEA AT NIGHT

I’m down by the pier now

quietly whispering

steered by a star long lost from sight

 

Perhaps you’ve seen it

shining so whitely, lightly above.

Here cats carefully peeking,

peek without cat smiles

all night watching for mice,

cats’ fur is washed so clean and so bright.

 

My last cigarette burns a fingertip.

Frightened little spark

falling into the black, black paint.

They call it the sea.

I hear the brief stinging kiss

and the moon is fairly, squarely, barely the moon.

The moon, the moon, the moon.

 

Now smelling the salt air.

Shiver

the damned fishing boats

gleam at their moorings

netting hung out  to dry.

Smelling the fish guts,

gulls gobbled and tore them,

fighting for room on the rocks.

 

Tasting the hot air,

so hot past the evening,

not as hot as the noon was

not half as hot

as tomorrow will be.

 

(1974)

Advertisements