Poetry as an act of location
           an act of placement
the bleak port of Santos
           built on coffee and corruption
or the harbour in Salou
           a catch of sardines
shed unceremoniously
           onto the jetty
leaping metallic muscle
           gleaming in the sunlight

Call it emotional
operating within
           the physical register
How delicate a table laid
           for a supper shared
How delicate a thought
           a kiss
a dream come true :
           her beauty baited
with a string of words
           no pain or panic
in our pleasure
the tired leopards of the moon
           here was my soil seeded :
here did her petals flourish
           opening out to imbibe
the sweet night-thickened dew
           her courage swollen
to the purpose
           of love’s common limb

Old men now clamber across
           the worn marble steps
ache of ages
           ache of years
a flicker in the failing light
           and then gone
deaf to the soft birdsong
           on the summer air
their swooping swagger caught
           in a swirl of mutinous dust

John Lyons


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