From this height, lakes appear like cobalt rips scuffed with wind
cloud is too white to be cauliflower, but those teeny glints of green light
could be distant rheums a sway in some-man's land, or else a trick of the bent breeze,
the hills pushed up from 'neath knuckles pressed into some pre-birth membrane
force ribbing, which is outlined by the darkest ever slabs of shadow
the sky from above makes no real sense
and you don't see many Turnstones at 38,000 feet
still a momentary misalignment of the beak, a wing beat too many
could be enough to gain these scarce, near-airless frozen outsides
beyond the fuselage-boom, where tiny ice cubes jingle
wring the chillier bits of Glass
                            from frozen ornithological scrota.
I think you once told me that the Purple Oyster Catcher played alto with Sun Ra
it's funny how birds' names describe what they do:
I might've been called Shagbestfriendssister, or Didntgeteminalot
Lancelot, like Tarky, knew that every epic needs
                                           its Guinevere
                                                           and a good dose of helmet.
All this time the sun is perched more or less to the west, the plane Dutch rolls imaginary corridors,
and I gaze down at the Frenchness of carpet sampler beige crop rotation,
not knowing      where I am         or what time it is
the undercarriage sounds like a jeweller's drill, but feels like the opening sequence of a Bond movie
and though I could sway all day in these gusts of wind, I end up on the train heading south
Battersea Power station protruding like a primitive multi-pin connector
an auxiliary to a potentially unlit London, where I never stop, but burrow across or bounce off
and get welcomed to Margate Main Sands –deckchairs and sun beds for your pleasure
where blonde tarts in minis in Minis double decrutch the Golden Mile
help keep our beaches clean and safe: only leave your footprints
and there's a strong sense of unkindness in the air, of low-tide kelp,
so I ride The Thanet Loop all day, flip past double-lined, Old Town streets
undulating over bulging Victorian sewers, an' Bev an' Trace an' Shaz
an' the Birdsfoot Trefoil freeze their nipples off down Broadstairs,
where teens e-flirt on Samsungs and there's all day breakfast in Mr. Chips,
and – have you paid and displayed– like the vaguely inter-tidal upskirt wench at the back of the bus
they say half of them would if you knew how to ask
which makes me an old dog and these are old dog whelk tricks Mr. Savoy Sausage,
Mr. Hake in Batter, Missed her by the end of the week
slumped back into an Estuary English which is not my own
living for days on goat's milk and Shreddies and the occasional pint of IPA in the Lord Nelson
where they still play Mott The Hoople, though it's Hendrix in The Shakespeare
and The Isle itself scares me somewhat: being here alone again, oh Caged Heart.
                                                           Above Botany Bay gulls still rise vertically into view
                                                           hover never motionless
                                                           against near-visible wind
                                                           which conveys cartoon cheese-whiff trails of hobbling squeeze box tuplets
                                                           from distant Folk Week prancers,
               the Morris Squire's got bells on and is a bit of a tool
               thinks the seated woman, who smokes
               haggard in the first floor bay window
                                                           and never taps her foot

August/September      Thanet-Milan