Various projects in planning. For now a poem... 


INTO A DISTANCE

A fire broke out in the west.
It spread to the other floors and then from building to building,
a calm, smokeless heat.
The streetlights were switched off, block by block by palace by mosque,
and the fire spread across squares, without thirst, all those windows that faced the orient,
an orient that had somehow slipped further away into itself in the night, into the east.
The sun came up.
Only the very tips of the mens’ shouty newspapers were animated by the breeze,
and now I caught the headlines,
as the male features, combed hair, brow and tired eyes,
disappeared into silhouette as the new day sent light spinning through glasses at lips
and sugared tea promised safe passage.


Still the gulls had not said a word.
Our movement pulled the new sun through lines and obstacles, 
hard light interrupted by the cool of cranes and containers, a dormant cargo ship.
Rhythm was easy.
The long line of a wavebreaker held a queue of black life, unfurling itself, pulling apart feathers, 
one by one
as the first rays caught them
opening their wings wide in reverent bow to the light.
Amid their thousand a heron, a loner,
I made him observant, I made him disinterested,
and now he looked out to sea while the cormorants were still unfolding themselves
and watched our boat chug past with those keen, beady eyes
that seeming smile, 
mocking.


A low call to sea an alarm clock,
one captain to another,
as the engine was muted to let the oil tanker through
and we span slowly in the current, drifting towards antiquity on its peninsular.
Not for long:
now the business of things revealed itself,
now the oranges and greys gave way to yellows and blues and then to whites 
as fevered activity sprung out of that first solemn breath and made all colour giddy. 
We were off!
Jumping before the loud scrape of the gangways had even allowed it
to trams, to taxis, to buses, to dolmus!
To commerce.


But then I realised:
I was static still on the boat;
this was not my city and I was only playing.
In the uproar of the present, all that animation slipped away, becoming shoreline, 
becoming skyline,
became a memory.


We pulled back through the waters, heaving, diesel, 
as beneath us the northern rivers slipped simply into the heavier fingers of the southern salt.


2011