Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

I'll start by checking mine to see if I'm still on track…

1. Mirror flat. My imperfect eye reflects the perfect sky
in the tilt of the perfect sea. Sat still amid this Argon evening peace
in my violet hulled ship, I'm not listing. No wind chime chain,
or curling wave. Going nowhere.                           
2. Freewheeling. Coasting the camber, Xenon headlights fading,
the bright white failing into night, as the crippled engine thirsts,
Then dies. 
3. A stationary train; a paralysed Newton's cradle;
a dozing bag of marbles; an unlit match; unsparked fireworks;
a fresh pack of AA batteries; linguine Neon elastic bands;
an orange slinky leaning on the shelf; an egg. 
4. White Rook to A1, Black Rook to H1;
White Rook to A8, Black Rook to H8;
White Rook to A1, Black Rook to H1;
White Rook to A8; 
Looks like I'm inclined to add checking to my list…

5. I've made a million lists, each one longer than the last.
Lists about the future, lists about the past.

I angled my 39th degree as I sat listing on the shelf
And I always seemed to work it out: exactly how to right myself.

The list always seems to unlist me, when coping, checking then binning.
They're now the crutch upon which I lean: they're my end and my beginning.

6. So, when I list, let them list.
I'll list all the reasons I need a list:
1. protraction…
2. drawing out basic conclusions…
3. overloading myself with cargo that will make me list…

40° Starboard and inching, inching, closer to the doldrums.

And I'm lurching again…
     Let me list all the ways I might save myself…
          1. Terminal; 2. Primary; 3. Delaying;
               Still going over… Let me list all the lists of things
                    A martyr might say through the mists of tears…
                         Going, going, going… down, down, down…
                              Let me list, list, list and end up seeing if I'm still on track.

5 responses to “Aug10”

  1. eob2 Avatar

    💙🌊 💥


  2. Rebecca Cuningham Avatar

    I really like this play with “list”. Last night we watched a Public Television documentary, Lost Ships of Rome. Listing of the clay containers in the holds sunk several vessels.


    1. Nathan Cocker Avatar

      Thanks. This poet took quite a while to write. I’m still not entirely happy with it, especially the part with Chess, which includes the play on the word check. Sometimes the play on words isn’t worth the trouble. The section is there to evoke the feeling of listlessness.


      1. Rebecca Cuningham Avatar

        Thanks for explaining about the chess. That was a riddle I hadn’t solved. Perhaps the repetition of a word might give the listless feel? Nicely crafted poem.


  3. Marsha Avatar

    Plays on words can be overdone. My brother used to speak in puns and you couldn’t get a decent sentence out of him. This is a wonderful play on words. I did miss the one about chess. Thanks also for following my blog. I am returning the favor. 🙂


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