Poetry: Holes in the Water | clivejames.com
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Holes in the Water

“Out of control punting a threat to the city”
Cambridge Evening News front page headline.

Preparing my fingertips to be chosen among
By the sprung pin that draws a blip of crimson,
I dance to something that I once heard sung

While I do some nifty digit-flinging
And finally, at the end of the swinging dancing
And the silent singing

The pin-gun goes thud
And up through my skin wells the required
Sufficiency of blood,

A miniature ruby hemidome
Meniscus into which the measuring stick glides
So that, from something simple, done at home,

A professional reading is obtained
That says I am still in the land
Of the living — though things get a bit strained,

I have to admit, when the odd muffed shot
Disfigures the target with a shrivelled currant
Or a very small yet lingering ink-blot.

Thus the punt-pilot re-inserts his pole
With particular caution and precision
Under sudden threat of having lost control,

And leans forward with steady, if quivering, care
Into the slipstream so mercifully created
By the speed of life, by his still being there.

TLS, July 5, 2018