Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sydney Psalm

It’s a constant embarrassment, this living.
The gloves come off and so do the panties,
the eyes widen but the feet march forward
--meanwhile the waves continue their assault
on the shore, boats carrying screaming
children and waggling businessmen rock
from side to side but no one is lullabied.

It’s a joke, this life. And also, a song.
A rude intimation, a whisper before
passing out. Everyone knows the ending,
yet we struggle to leave with our hats on
and our dignity intact. Fat luck, that.

--meanwhile the best bedtime story is yet
to be found. Climb that hill, scratch that old man’s
back. Ask the weatherman to speak, if he would,
on politics. Or maybe try spitting watermelon
seeds from a great height, then scuttle below
to see the pattern you’ve made, ooh and ahh
at their form, say, Yes, I was here.

You can summon lorikeets with sugar,
watch their rainbow heads bob in your palm
while you survey the harbor, belly full
of noodles, wallet full of cash.
What is there to do now, but sing?

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