Two Parallel Escape Routes

Two Parallel Escape Routes

Two Parallel Escape Routes

(i) (by way of sea)

in the head there was clamour
hammer hammer behind the eyes, nightmarish
presence, song of painful endearments
as in the background he knows we’re all here
backing him, following him, exaggerating him

and so he’s leading down that rocky path
towards deep cool green harbour, a bit in shadow
tipping and rocking boats as if carved
from sea. The boat waiting and being so charged
so timed for the getaway across stark ocean

saying such, he’d been there before, on days
when some birth right made the world seem
insurmountable locked down heart, alone, ramshackle
until a simple sunrise being enough to dispel
these sulky portents of doom

as taking his place with oars in hand
and smack smack under bow and chock
chock of wood on wood, he set out under cloud
and paper thin promise of something to snaffle
something to whisk away under our noses

(ii) (by way of home)

having heard the squeak of an opening eyelid
I turned my ears toward something macro macro
and in that instant came the soft kiss
of something young, something from heart

or this could’ve been rain of course
could’ve been something fresh and soothing
something breathing cool at the back of my neck
something that could be naughty enough to make me shut

so who knows what you know and who’s felt the suck
caress of your life filled lips
your raised eyebrow one step ahead, knowing what I know
and holding onto the reigns and pronouncing you’re in charge

and there, turning on my heels I slam the mirror door
make an angry face at the likes of passing animals or folks
and turn tail head down back down the street
our street, the one I know as home

Copyright © Graeme Perrin 2023