There’s no speech, just noise, a rumble and hiss
from the recursive tide and first batch of cicadas
in the casuarinas clinging to the cliff. The males
are popping their tymbals drumming for a mate
a hoarse monophonic chant exposing patterns,
waves building to crescendos, dying then starting over
or is that imagining? Like when I was young and ill
in bed, hearing all kinds of beats and variations of pitch
from my alarm clock, sickly green with radioactive time.
There’s no speech, but writing in the sky with dark blue ink
looks a little like animated Arabic. Sky writing is as magical
as reading a book, marks telling history, a story or caching
a poet’s voice - send the auguries home. The Etruscans
used the direction of birds calls, the Romans also watched
their flight, but I haven’t seen one bird yet, just heard
a kookaburra in the forest and what I want to know lies
in the past, the one thing we think is expendable, but isn’t.
Another first day of summer, not yet dawn, but the bush flies
have hatched and scribble my moisture, eyes, mouth, nose.
I would catch and train some to shape the alphabet, send
the best to write while hovering in mid-air, and abandon
texting as obsolete. We interpret symbols, that’s the trick,
when something isn’t what it is, like knots on a cord with
Incan quipus or a stencilled hand with sequence of red dots.
As the sea hauls back red water past stones and shells,
evidence from the past leaves a thousand wakes
and tinkles, echoing from last night’s concert, Elena
and Tamara hammering the keyboard with four hands
as beautiful tinnitus - always listening for music.
Rosy fingered dawn, but how many fingers has the ocean?
The beach spreads the light bending at the hinge,
looking that way sounds like silence, eyes closed,
peeping through the fingers back out to sea and infinity,
that incurable curiosity ‘science and explanations’ pursue.
Helios rises and wipes the script. It’s back to paper and screen.