Tropical Stopover

Politics a game of volleyball with a too high net,
The town wraps all in hospitable smallness. Round as day,
The sea’s a diamond factory no boss can fathom.
Along the front the flags are genies dancing
Or are they soldiers vanished in a mirage of laughter
As sky beats invisible blue drums to celebrate
New Year arriving on the next down-breeze?

Back inland the hats are the colour of rainbows.
Wine and sunlight make even the policemen friendly.
Masks, stiltjacks, tamtams unlock closenesses that are
Everyday’s subconscious sadly hidden from itself. Aeeeiii!
All at once the air is alive with vowels. See.
Whistling the latest samba from Brazil, there strolls Senor Zephyr
In indigo bowler and flowing iridescent tails.
The sun blows and with tireless arms the waves clash cymbals.
Downtown saxophones rip bumphous doldrums to welcome shreds.

But look. La Place de l’Etoile Rouge is putting on her necklace.
Salut, tous mes camarades, I must be leaving –
Tomorrow I shall carry your memory like a postcard one turns to
As soon as elsewhere gets overbearing, o nations
With faces of gigantic stone that have forgotten how to smile.

Martin Bennett | Mudlark No. 12
Contents | Bull in the Chinashop