The Edge

I love the swirl of purloined thoughts that
float in and out of my head
when I’m on the verge of sleep,
when plans for tomorrow meld into
abstract images of rollercoaster carriages
that hurtle along tracks in a honey sea of
green and purple and orange and alabaster filigree,
then emerge from the depths in a
fountain of four-winged pelicans
who sour over white-capped mountains
that forever change their shape

I slide down a wall of words,
none of them true or false or right or wrong,
slip through snippets of conversation
overheard on the train to work, on a bus to Mongolia,
in the mouth of a giant ant as it speaks into a microphone
to a crowd of nude business men in bowler hats

My shopping list of unfinished tasks
unfurls into a list of street names,
then to a roadmap that becomes three-dimensional and
I’m sailing a boat along narrow canals
through foreign lands
over vast oceans of broiling waters that are
home to saucepan-wielding pirates and old men

The tick of the clock on my bedside table
morphs into the drum beat of a hungry African elephant
who plays on a timpani while he
slurps a brandied banana milkshake

The words in the book I am reading
begin to float off the page and
reform into long lines of dancing dogs
who hold onto each others’ tails with anteater tongues that
stretch for metres like sticky toffee

I love that moment of recognition,
that last sliver of organised thought,
when the conscious mind with all its pretences
lets go of the day
gives over to the night and
all things true.

Carole Poustie

Comments are closed.