Oh, look, here's another one
Gawking down, gazing at me
And looking back, I twist my neck
From my usual view of the usual sea

Wondering if this one is feeling it;
That frisson thrill of danger
As the wind plucks clothes,
Shivers coarse grasses at their feet.

Is she admiring my craggy façade,
My ridges that crumble and weep when it rains,
That undeniable evidence of rocks
Shattered at my base, my pretty, clinging flowers?

I have seen it all – those upside-down faces,
Like startled ships' crews, staring, at their rail:
Near-accidental little slip, vertigo, panic clutch,
That mesmerizing magnet pull, the goading whips of fear...

They love me, I disturb their visual field,
Their sense of scale – they like that.
But this one, I sense, is not here for those easy thrills,
She intends to use me. Yes. See, now, how she surrenders...

This won't take long: Her epitaph: In brief:
A distant ripple, scat of a seagull,
That endearingly subtle swell of a transient cloud,
Another creamy wave crests. [Pink chiffon scarf detaches]...

Her quick scream stifles as she kisses me and then the drop.
Now, someone will come and bear those bones away
Or, the sea will tumble back soon, add them,
Indifferently, to the roll of its tidal slop.

Clive Donovan


If you have any thoughts on this poem, Clive Donovan would be pleased to hear them.