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From Natural Anthem by Leonard Lambert

Snapshot, Midsummer

Seaward the flow of the day -
summer at its height -
and the silence - total -
of the main, abandoned street -

Cycle World
is a forest of pointless multiples
where Dave Henson emerges briefly
to glower at noncoming enemy -
knows they'll be back
trying every trick in the book -
red-faced bastards with a cheated look -

At the pumps
Jason does the time
can't recall the crime - slumps
among the cornchips and the giveaways
lost on a carless world -

The 2nd Hand Shop
looks 3rd or 4th,
the prices ridiculous -

At The Bakehouse (Closed)
sandpies, dustcakes
sit along the leftover shelf -
the Bank is withdrawn
quietly transacting with itself -

Traps to catch the summer trade
fade and fall away
like wickerwork, papier-mâché,
the tide of the sweeping sky
a bypass no Council ever planned -
seaward the flow of the day
profit lost on the summer wind -

Song at Summer's End

Too late in April
we came to a winter sea
we lay in the still-warm sun
but the wind
blew bitterly.

Too late in April
the waves had washed themselves of us
and all gone back to work,
the daily grind, to silica sand
to kelp and weed and rock.

Too late in April
two summerdogs outran the day, went zoom!
but the sea bit at their heels
and the cold wind
chased them home.

Too late in April
the pipi beds sway out of reach, the rocking shoals:
the factories of the sea retreat
into their cold
their working cells.

Too late in April
we came to pleasure's end,
and as the season had from us, the warm mammalian day,
we turned in our recent forms, our chalky frames,
we turned away.

©Leonard Lambert























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