On The Rocks - Poem by Robert Dummett
Once entranced, mountains naked and stony
Run for miles rolling in lanes
Where clouds are hats on heads of peaks.
Dry like an Arab state in Ramadan,
Trees shimmy arms like scarecrows;
Bluff called, rock doves dance
And cast coos triumphantly,
Landscapes sweep hard pass a spider's web
Welded to a log lazing on the ground,
No leaves litter,
But a bent branch held by birch
Breaches a bark curled.
A goat forages in hope,
And pants besides a kid on knees,
Ball bearings brownish now like
'Maltesers' mark its territory,
The road cuts through boulders with an asphalt
Drill and in its wake, train lines black are
Laid. Netted on the water’s edge chips off
Basalt blocks are unmoved sleepers on the
Side; the sea, beaten with stripes from
Tangerine sun crinkles like foil and bleeds
Oil, while braids of birds brim the water
Where waves weary of the flock
Foam a yellow green.
The sandpiper plays its tune yet starfish
Stays stuck and snail the slime, schemes apace
To steal shell, but stationed at
Anchor, rocks a boat heaving-
While bleached driftwood coast by.
Ducks almost in heaven pray to taste the
Cool mint of evening, but as changeable
And unpredictable as a woman,
Day shifts. Rota engaged, one disc calls
Time out, moon, clocks time in.
Hamlet stands strong with stones, nothing moves
Save the sea cracking ribs
Against breakneck rocks.
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