Semaphore – Judy Gaudet


My friends send poems quickly, leaves blown by a tornado
suddenly stirred up, to land red on my screen, land kaplunk
like a red painted watering can on the sand
of a desert, scratching my eyes, shaking up me –
a rattle of dried bones, a clanging jaw, slack, sullen –
clacking bones that begin to dig for water underneath where they rest,
reaching down through the globe (of earth/of cranium)
for some exotic other land with other customs, surprise
connections, planes changed in
unexpected airports,

shaking up a shower of leaves brought in on the wind,
sending them soaring through the yellow air, jaundiced,
germy, like the hotel rooms exposed on TV, challenging
me to create my own whirlpool, digging, frantically,
a dog furiously pushing up sand through hind legs,
sending a futile dry fountain soaring up, until admitting defeat,
she turns and runs down the beach, seeing the bright colours
whirling in the air, darting that way and this she leaps overhead,
snaps her jaws on them, tests one, tastes another,
lays them down, a suit of cards falling into place, flying off the screen

As well as publishing in various journals, Judy is the author of Her Teeth Are Stones (Acorn Press, 2006).

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