Cloud, Moon and Reef


Bed, and a book, in a night boat, glimmering,
Torchlit and lifted on the surging tide
Of Stevenson's imagination.
Treasure Island caged the midnight fear -

Gruff murderous pirates, the vice of Blind Pew,
The trampling of night horses:
A gift that's handed down from claw to claw,
The painterly extravagance of nightmare.

Oh flattery of Hollywood!
Welcoming Shout of American Poetry!
Limo!  Freeway!  The Lot -  on Warner Boulevard
Magnesium light, an ominous migraine.

Rewrite man, washed up to write
At lamp-lit desk throughout the night,
Marooned where once the treasure lay,
A forehead-clutching castaway.

Cocaine.  Entrapment, lawyers, debt.
There is no gold.  Reach bedrock, sweat -
Dumbfounded, as when Bill Bones finds
The Black Spot on his palm.  Struck blind.

There's no escape.  The dreamer, home,
Still hears Flint's haunting cry -
You're one of us -  thus dead men taunt the dying.
An empty boat turns slowly on a grey lagoon
Gathering rain.