Loose lips are not the only thing to sink
ships. No misstep, no slip inconsequential –
nowhere to lean except into the wind.
New rules drilled, tattooed, carved
in stone. Knots tied with precision
on lines weighted with purpose, tossed
with careful aim from a practiced stance:
knees bent, feet splayed, back straight;
arms in extended swing, easy finger grip.
Coils neat and smooth to unravel, travel
freely across the deck, follow the arc,
abrupt thrust of strong arms heaving-ho.
Aim high and far,
eyes sharp and steady
no matter the storm-pricked tears.
The line will reach
as far as need be
never worse for the wear or repair.
Like a Milking Stool with One Leg Missing
I seem to have lost my balance, the ability to roll
my eyes when I hear Silvio Rodriguez croon.
Star gazer, mushroom gatherer, dessert finisher
Barbacuer, handshaker, lightbulb changer
Mosquito search-and-destroy unit.
I’ve been limping for so long.
Ball tosser, lullaby singer, battle diffuser.
Bike rider, trail hiker, me-in-the-dark holder.
Evener of shoelaces.
The opportunity to learn to love Silvio
was an occasion I apparently let slip by.
She watches them tumble for her, blue
splash of incoming tide. Blue. A blue one.
Wash up wash down, soothing sound, never
alone; never without this breezed
keening, damp and mossy in her ear.
Prickly hum the color of kelp. A rose
so light it vanishes in the wet.
Guinnesses and Heinekens, colas,
lemon-limes. Blending artifice in nature. Olive
motorcycle seat, pink pig snout, milky triangle
curving like a heart. Teardrop. Pale teal.
She has searched for the perfect blue oval
all her life. Watching the roll of pebbles ride
the tide in, escort it out. She is still there, fist
clutching her treasure. The sky bursts in fiery
sunset, settles into purple dusk. She breathes
bluegreen air. He should be standing in his towel
by the wall, shaking out grit from a sandal.
Born in Boston (Massachusetts) but living in Spain since the 1982 football World Cup, Kymm Coveney returned to poetry (and English!) as part of Jo Bell’s 52 Poetry group. Her latest publications are with 101Fiction (flash fiction), The Glasgow Review of Books (poem translation) and The Interpreter’s House #60 (poem).