John Paul Wilson
We Sailed Our Swallow - Poem by John Paul Wilson
A great new spirit began to climb
Among the spa-attenders; for
The deafmute began to mime, like a flute
For the time
Of one short wave
To reach the beach,
For stones and men
To scream, to screech,
Supplicant before heaven.
They ask who are
This clawfingering subacqua species
The opaque surface of IT,
In waterstruck stasis?
At the watery ephemeral
Reflection only the waterglide?
Pulling pulling o like seaweed
May they float away forever
In the bubbles!
So on the shore we built our boat
And sailed to sea for a day, for a week
But hardly noticed that we were afloat -
The sea being glassy, the air moon cool,
We followed the sun, we dreamed the moon,
We sailed our swallow to our lagoon
Until we reached the stones that speak!
The sun, the sea, the sandy lagoon
- and the spirits beginning to rise so soon?
There on the stones we burnt our ark
In sacrifice for what we seek,
Our hopes and dreams went up in the fire,
We watched the smoke curling over and higher,
We began to feel that god was a liar!
And then we found we could not speak,
But all we looked at each other in fear,
Then left each by his and all alone,
One by one fell we down in a swoon,
Then only the stones were left to complain
As the sea and the land met the sky again.
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