Thursday, June 30, 2011

They Will Take My Island

by rob mclennan

Most of the risks I take are voluntary
but I remember disasters I lived through
that still can't be understood.
—Ken Belford

They will take my island.
Damn the shore. See the boats.

Stars animate the morning with their bird-song
We are craving but stitches pull.

Small sloughs among horizon births.
Strange to a man, encounter

half-tobacco and comparative suburbs.
See the shore, damn the boats.

Hardscrabble lake. A terrible wonderment.
Witness the pleasures of darkness,

a sound of belief. Let measures come,
as they may. They will take my island. The war

hasn't even begun.

Dear Prime Minister: I fear
for my safety. Two inanimate, rearranged, lines.

The people acted cruel, and sweet.
See the boats. Damn the shore. Send in

armed forces, the coast guard. The Air Force
drawn belly-thin; glows red,

like a robin. Clear the paths, damn the boats.
I need you to listen. I want you to love me.

Colours are no boundary. Blue trades blue
and merges, black. Sky to line to line to water.

Damn the boats. My clothes are torn. Seagulls
pick at the distances.

Napoleon knew to keep to his castles,
an object in reverse. Everything you say

is possible. The clipper ships. Damn the boats.

Damn the boats. Tell me again, you saw.
The downside slogan, in these most

mundane of moments, matters. They
will take my island. I can see every single thing

in the whole of creation, standing. Here.