Saturday, 16 February 2008

P-i-R's turtle poem

The post below this features one of D H Lawrence's wonderful tortoise poems. To restore the poetic balance, before we all get too carried away, here is Poet-in-Residence's, so-far unpublished, poem about a turtle.
Would any small press editor like to take this one for publication?...P-i-R wonders, with flippers crossed.

Turtle in the Cafe´

The last customer in the cafe´
I'm sitting next to a chelonian
the size of a man's hand
in three inches of water
in striped trousers -
black and yellow.

In his bizarre uniform
he patrols the boundaries
of turtled-existence
suspiciously following intruders
who are his own reflections
in the tank's glass.

Halting at corners
he takes neck-stretching breaths
and plunges in to scare off
submarine images
with a frenzied hand-waving
and shell-rocking
demonstration of power.

His pinball flippers then propel him
in his prune-black boat
with white and orange underside
to where his other enemies lurk -
to more gulps of air
and to more rocking remonstrations.

Quite Larkinesque is his expression:
determination over resignation -
hint of puzzlement.

And when the cafe´ girl
finally turns off the lights
he begins to clonk his rim
bong! bong! bong!
hard like a warning bell
hard against the glass -
hard against the walls
of his turtle universe.

c-2008 Gwilym Williams

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