Pastiche Eclogue with Randolph Stow’s ‘Ishmael’

by
August 2021, no. 434

Pastiche Eclogue with Randolph Stow’s ‘Ishmael’

by
August 2021, no. 434

When Ishmael escaped from the closed Bible
on the dresser with family names that were

only tangentially yours, you looked to the emergency
site for inclemency and found fire was rapidly

approaching via dire easterlies that actually start from the south
and over the stretch of time just inside a zone sharply

bend west to gather inner heat, saying, I love as much
as your weight of extracted moisture, the soupçons

of winnowings, the haunted maps you foist
on the chart table, showing demarcations and claims,

these accumulations of original sin, these town halls,
these favoured venues for worship, that unholy

rearrangement of desert and salt lakes into surveys
and peggings, into trenches and bores – the resources

of ground-penetrating radar and satellite clusters, the red
blooms waxen and outside the martial governance,

the big-wheeled machinery, the conveyor belts,
a taste of Antarctic melt this far into the ‘permissions’,

into the tapers that set light to your fury, your love
a gesture of protest in floodlit country ignoring you.

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