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Tuesday’s Poet: Two by Jim Bennett

Run Aground: Ballona Lagoon. Photo (c) 2010 Richard Beban


downstream

the rainwater from last nights storm
swells the river
and brings the blood brown topsoil
to mud the water


a fisherman watches from the bank
his eyes fixed on a float
nestling in the quieter shallows
its rise and fall hidden
in cracked light
and breeze blown ripples


here on the common path
we stand and talk about
butterflies and summer
watch the clambering clouds
in their rush to the North
and debate our futile opposition
to the fisherman’s barbed hooks


further along the rising path
the river left below
we can see the water stain
slick like oil spread out
across the bay
until finally diluted
it disappears into
the sky mirror surface
of the sea
to build new land
bellow the lapping waves


a pathology of birds

the blackbird
lay head bent to the ground
listening to the earth


one wing spread as if in flight
its coal eyes open eaten
into staring holes


over days
bones become exposed
light and insubstantial
thin straws
filled with air
wait for the last flesh
to rot away
for the few remaining feathers
to detach themselves
to free them
so they can float away


a maggot devours
the final atoms
of the blackbird’s brain
as it dreams of flight


Jim Bennett Jim Bennett lives near Liverpool in the UK and is the author of 63 books, including books for children, books of poetry and many technical titles on transport and examinations. He has won many awards for his writing and performance including 3 DADAFest awards. He is also managing editor of www.poetrykit.org one of the worlds most successful internet sites for poets.


Jim taught Creative Writing at the University of Liverpool and now tours throughout the year giving readings and performances of his work. His most recent publication is a poetry collection called “The Man Who Tried To Hug Clouds” (Bluechrome Publishing 2004–2nd edition 2005).


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