Points West

Gerald Dawe

for Kevin and Eve

When the street has gone all so quiet
except for the police car that whizzes up
and down at the same time every night –

when the timbers jolt and the radiators click-click
and the action of the clock gets ready to strike –
I stumble across a blustery waste ground,

a cliff face, a dozen streets of little
houses, under a full moon, blinded by
the light of a door that’s been left open,

church bells clanging at six in the morning,
the first train haring off to points west,
and, from the garden that edges a misty lake,

wind chimes accompany my ‘going before me’,
to the terrace overlooking a splendid sea,
where the kids hunt in rock pools or dive

headlong into the uplit swimming pool,
the smoky hills behind and beyond us
nestle the rich and no-longer famous –

ex-colonials on retreat and contemplatives –
but in the bulky containers moving so slowly,
stowaways crouch for pockets of air.

I am off again, daydreaming of marauding
tree wasps with their ghastly undercarriages,
cicadas ringing their nightly changes,

the high-pitched whine of a mosquito,
my eyes peeled on dolphin-watch,
while they, like dancers, wait in the wings.