Steady as she goes


Late afternoon.  Light sound
of soprano bell, from bass
drone of freight train
over river-bridge.  Nothing profound

(just slightly wistful).  A poet keeps
time.  In the ear’s recess,
faint heartbeat-stress
marks passage of the sheep

over the dream-track.  Nothing more
nor less.  Down N’Orleans way
the Indians are gay
tonight, beaded with coronation Flor

del Rio del Espiritu Santo.  Amen
& hallelujah, hey-
ey-yo.  Let us pray
for the grain of wheat, the salty bran

of liberation (touch of soul,
Touchstone).  So dance
your way into the trance,
Hal Marie!  & remember, all –

tomorrow’s Lent (already).  The square
of ash upon your brow
a sailor’s salty vow
to steady as she goes (fair,

kind & true).  His hand waves from
the deep – he’s called Acorn.
He wears an English crown
of oakleaf (he’s Vermilion Flem).


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