Call to prayer on the Sumbawa crossing
I am there when the call comes up
the men soak their feet and arms
to pray with their faces and the women
seem still to be sleeping.
I am gutting on the deck
with my own dirtier sole
and the boy next to me is young and cheer
the madrigals shimmering in the rigging
but I have not slept on soft for thirty-six hours
only on the gunfloor of the van rutting
between holes and mountains in the crust dawn
or better on the rust stomach of the tugging ship
and it has all kept me gliding
but in bad health-and-mood
I cannot return the child’s unencumbered joy
or his bright mute god somewhere inside
can only dullwavy and stubbled sit
ringing out the suds
as the call comes up and the stream flicks on and off.
all Bodhi-tree Buddha on me
I’ll yogi when I want to.
At the moment that dizzy buck of sand
and the rock buffs lipping it look just fine,
with a beer in the hand
and a few in the belly,
a bird nuffing about in the sky
stretching back its nothingness
into the eternal nothing,
a lazed thing.
Two tourists have appeared
- that makes three of us tumblers –
one is wave buffooning
and the wife is photohappy and mute
regarding her husband’s paunch.
I will catch fish in my teeth and breathe
deeper than a pearl-catcher and sharper
than the ripping sticks of the fishermen.
I will cough myself up
a shack on the surf
and dream bubbly about sailing into the ever,
then when the sea hacks back leaving the reef
exposed, I will marvel at its tendency to cut
and worry about the beauty in its damn bright colours.
About the author
Rob Yates has recently returned to the UK after nearly 2 years abroad, which he spent moving and living in Indonesia and New Zealand. He has work forthcoming in Agenda and has had poems appear in various online magazines.
Huff tries something
Huff has tried the straight path
but then gone bunked and bloody
he is all mutterdog braying little
and now with the conch blinging in his drums
the goats flabbering on the coast-edge
the great fig trees with their roots up in the air but
earthed and pumped too too deep in the
soil oh that lovely soil yes
he is blessed and ready to floatsam further
than the Oriental fire-breeze and the flimsy markets
his pennies all chapped and dribbled into booze feathers
feathers because they lift and utterperish
a very sad and expensive thing
he has licked the citrus tickling of the loneliest planet’s
crust and trail
and spent more killerdollars than the Mother in the sky would like
yes he has don’t blame him he is
still young, he hopes, and potentially fruitful ‘midst the
bats and the gnarled waves and the West
golding up on popular coasts and regretting
his fizzing infancy.