Others swallow deadly blows
and creep along the ground –
you rise up and lift your head
and take a look around.
Phoenix from the smoking ash,
Jonah from the whale;
is it hope that keeps your path
on elevated rails?
Your branches rake the sky,
impotent fingers curled in grave-clothes
clutching pipe dreams of the Living Ones.
Your skin has long since
ceased to hold its contents,
draining your life’s blood into the sea
before being spewed onto the sand,
a jinxed Jonah, a shrivelled mummy with no sphinx
to mark your place.
you hatched egrets and expelled oxygen
and marked the seasons with your foliar calendar.
here you are,
a beached whale
whose art is a shadow,
lines drawn in the sand…