After Plato

1 August 2015

Days like these I’m squandering the circle
riding out on my hobby-horse, my long-nosed
metal detector, on a jaunty tangent
to forage among weeds.

Past the last of the smoking utilities
I saunter, humming an irrational
number by a latter-day monk.
There’s still some ground

out here that’s good for a
good-for-nothing, an in-
betweener neither fish
nor flesh, parboiled detective,

diviner of shoots and nuts
and bullets spent under the dust.
A picker-up and turner-over,
bad debt collector magnetised

by scrap and straggly growth,
against-the-grain survival of
perversity in adversity. It all goes
in my sack for due consideration

later, but today I aim to go
too far. I reach the limits
and approach the wire where
the corpulent border guard in blue

doesn’t shift from his post. I seen you coming,
kid, he says, and waves me ominously
through. Just keep moving—don’t stop
till I can see the back of you.

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