Treasure Island

Simon Armitage

(26 May 1963 / Marsden, West Yorkshire)

Cataract Operation


The sun comes like a head
through last night's turtleneck.
A pigeon in the yard turns tail
and offers me a card. Any card.


From pillar to post, a pantomime
of damp, forgotten washing


on the washing line.
So, in the breeze:

the olé of a crimson towel.
the cancan of a ra ra skirt,

the monkey business of a shirt
pegged only by its sleeve,

the cheerio
of a handkerchief.

I drop the blind
but not before a company

of half a dozen hens
struts through the gate,

looks round the courtyard
for a contact lens.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Martin O'Neill (2/19/2012 12:25:00 PM)

    This simply wonderful. The imagery and evocation of the momentary mental maziness that possess us as we detach from the logical day and really open our eyes. (Report) Reply

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