On the Rocks

by Iain James Robb


On the Rocks


What matters these, to all, below the crest…

If privilege of mind-blankness is the bay's?

Remembrance breeds no fathoms of its rest-  

As plumb the circuit lulled, at each rephrase


Of capture, each and over, one lone jetty-

Marching only far as speech is lost in snow...

Of bevelled weights, before tide-gates that carry   

Nary answers, of what left so hereago.


I crossed this day the thin tin-hammered moil,

That rings the cliffs, and fledged between two forms

Belong to this, that ghost, who chalks the roil…

That floods the bridle spoor of unpooled storms-


No ships converging through the absent hailings

Of plummet-birds, that bunk the gavelled plain.

What winnowing of white limbs, upon the flailings,

Perturbs the umber, óf her murmur-main?


Abroad on flumeless hoops, an unshaled galleon

Could have robed itself in rocks, themselves so soft...

As a trillion sanded turfs, tatterdemalion,

As the breath ensurfed and lost so long aloft:


And azure hydras arboured, in a listless serry,

Cast to frothing fields, encalméd now, óf distant water wracks…

That pool their weight far fróm the mid noon's ferry.

'Lorn Medusas ride the list, of pod-crow backs-


Enjambed from sapphire cities, and the plastic gardens…

Spinwhittleweed that whistles in midfollow flow.

“Ahoy, Miranda, where are lain your lustre's lessons?”

The hearts among green lilies whisper, “Jericho”...                          


And a city made of palms conflates no loss with passion,

In the seaweed steeps encumbered; no enquirer asks.

The rain-wraiths spey no fleet's oars, for its flags to lash in.

I am dissolving in a plenitude, of chartless masks…


And vacant in the roundelay of lime-washed miles,

Forsaking triumph and platitudes, what bridges fly…

While watching for the turrets under turning smiles

The weed wreathes, in the algorithmic tapestry?


The fractal map none search, aslant, a shattered ember,

The whirl-ships flick aslip, in mist, reforge their fall.

The dance of these lies far at last and can't remember;

An albatross fleets flicker flack and shan't re-call-


No more than any path across. Meridian blinders

Knoughts and cross the cloudlets out, the South Cross falls

(And it is late, I must be leaving here), on lost and finders.

The masquers lapse at satellite, of lampless balls…


Below the shoonéd surface of the star-mapped brim,

That skates the frothing lilacs at the aftermath-

Of brides to tidelets, arced in parabolic bath

Of breakers, in resurgence at the surge's skim:


And jetsam (and it's late soon) scuffs but nothings come-

Aboard the periwinkle genesis, a-crest what cliffs?

The wheeling world is static, as the languished skiffs

That lift against the ride-let's equilibrium…


Chameleon blossoms ramaged in the sucks of surf:

Abandoned at the last gasp, of their artistry…

Dead pebble-weights the waters scarf and sands that scurf…

Amniotic thrust and reflux, of the laughing sea.