He has his medley nearly ready. He has pieced together
his own fantasia, even if just from the sound of an owl
regurgitating a pellet of bat fur, a park ranger’s
jangling keys, the creak of cable strain when bored,
‘That there should never be air / in a picture surprises me’
Feel it even now: such stillness
and yet – there
they are, again:
lights in blue
Wisps of smoke, lamplight on manuscripts.
Pages fanned across an oak stool.
The hearth absorbs the stain of living.
The pots are still dropped and pulled at 4 am,
but no-one fishes near seal rock for weeks, out where the shadows
of sharks and seals are interchangeable.
A quiet night in the square,
taxis parked with their side-lights on
and engines cut, drivers
muttering under a fuzzy streetlamp.
A stray dog considers an old milk carton.
The woman’s hands
are tied behind her back –