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+Sharmagne Leland-St. John + Madeline Artenberg + Sonja Broderick + Saima Yacoob + Mario Susko + John Brooke + Richie Mais

Migrant

You knew how it would be before you came:
your dreams take root in an alien sky;
wither; you watch them die -
and hark back to immensities of beach,
a light-sluiced tidal flat where mangroves
grasp the air tenaciously, and slow
waves creep; a faded dwelling-place, its timbers
bleaching like an upturned hull;
lament of gulls, the shriek of lorikeets.

Sea-wife’s Soliloquy

You enter the room
as a schooner enters harbour
unexpectedly, the furies
howling at the keel,
the captain tense and weary,
having sparred once more
with the sea and been spared.
You enter the room
and I think of an argonaut,
the inexorable oars that drained
his youth and vigour to the lees;
his sleep a labyrinth of shoals
and shores and unfamiliar ports,
a phantasmagoria of foreign ways.
You enter the room
with the aura of a mariner
who has worked his leave,
had his fill of the sea’s
duplicity and seeks reprieve.
You will attempt to compensate
for irretrievable nights and days
with barbarous tales, a plethora
of feasts; but I have inherited
the accursed mantle of Penelope,
her bitter, lifelong quarrel
with the waves...