Futile Poem #157

1 November 2014

The salty ocean sprays their skin with mild threats, penetrating
heart & lungs in small doses. Blood-orange safety devices wind
around bodies, squeeze & hug ears with the er-er squeak of
rubber. The deep blue is tender & considerate, for a while. It
does not stir, it does not shed its skin. Until Secure our borders!
Go back! Go back! is carried by the wind. It breathes out in deep
murmurs, gasping, the words turn to mumbles & the translation
is lost on the buoyant euphemisms. The land dwellers project
towards illegal maritime arrivals from homes of wood, brick,
fibrous cement sheets & concretes with feet shoulder-width apart,
hands cupped around mouths as loudspeakers or employ the
correct process, get in line! Meet our requests! Papers!
Papers,
made of Ancestor Spirits. From the boat emanates hope. They play
& pray up to five times each day. New land not yet visible. Only
imagined. Imagined in terms of home. New land can’t yet hear
their plastic squeals of determination, or their angry bellies. Dark
water whispers quiet warnings, gentle signals of its instability. Its
ability to swallow them whole. Somehow it’s comforting, you & I
can’t understand how it comforts them. Let it go. Suppose there are
traces of God & the entirety of time in every droplet, traces of life
mingling with the struggle. They know struggle, but violence or
silence – they wait to find out which is worse. & which would you
prefer? So we will decide who comes to this country, the liquid mass
awakes, quickly establishing a hopeless amalgam of: one leaky boat,
too many people & not enough life jackets & the circumstances in
which they come!
(& die?) The rainbow develops it’s red round of
applause
it is fully enveloped by red.

The Indian Ocean saturates & fills up
bodies while the hum of cheer echoes
through the slippery seas. Silver gulls
circle the skies, dipping down to the
scaly skin for food. They squawk out
of time with the beat of celebration.

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