For those us born by the ocean
there will always be a listening,
an ear close to the ground
like an animal trailing.
I remember one night
I couldn’t see anything of water
and I was sober as the stars,
yet below the tracked paving-stones
and gushing up through cracks…
benches tilted, clouds rocked.
I was a vessel, filled full of it.
This town at the valley’s head
I’ve adopted or it’s adopted me:
wakes fan from the simple phrases
and often laughter can erode
the most resistant expressions.
Despite this, I’m following the river
along our mutual courses:
to the boy on a storm-beach
hopping from boulder to boulder
trying to mimic a mountain-goat;
to the young man sitting in a ring
of perfumed smoke of dolphins
plucked by the sleight-fingered sea.
By Mike Jenkins
from This House, My Ghetto