The shriek awakens me,
suspended as I hang
between two cocos palms.
The hammock having carved
imprints like wounds
in sunburned skin,
and I am swaying
in the breeze from Torres Strait.
White, flashing teeth
of small black devils
with coarse brown hair
and fat pink lips
are playing their new game,
it's known as speer-the-fish
and does have all the trimmings
of practicality and island life.
I soon drift off again
to melancholy distant lands,
where snow-capped weather vanes
and handsome kiss-me-nots
have done their decorations
on all the window panes.
The river frozen, but a fisherman
all dressed in dark green Loden
waits motionless in winter's silence
for that exclusive nibble
which will be supper for two days,
as all his cupboards have been bare
since they brought home in late September
the final wagon of their fragrant hay.
I smell the fish at once, can almost feel
the slippery wetness and its wiggle,
and as I wake again the boys are there,
mischievous grins and teeth of ivory,
and soon the village does descend
upon my territory, with knives
and happy but determined smiles.
It's almost dinner time, my friends
and I am more than willing to oblige,
they take from me the giant brim
part of the ritual of loving life
in its simplicity, and to recover
I must have a minute, going for a swim.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.