The birds have flown

out beyond the sands

to a place where they sing

of what will be, come the crossing,

and where, from across the bay,

we stare back at ourselves,

us gleaners on the beach,

stitching and combing our

decorous way through

pound and pitcher

and the spectre of a town

we pretend not to notice.

 

Blue shadow of a cloud

slowly scans - like us -

a breathy capture of mind

strewn and scattered:

a carny-worm tableau

of carousel braid; the murmur

and creep of incoming tide; or this

tumble of boulder stone eggs

we know will never hatch,

just as the white stone birds

(the ones left behind)

will never fly.

 

The gun-slinging townsfolk

will saddle up and swagger

no more, for frontierland

is shifting with the sands.

Its channels run deep,

but thrown into view

this rust hewn pipe

lays bare the truth of a place

marked by seepage;

it carries our gaze out

across the sands, while

behind us the cormorants

neither sing nor soar

as frontierland slips

under and further away.

 

 

 

June 2013

FRONTIERLAND

Les Roberts 2013