Wednesday, 6 January 2010

emma jones


The pearls were empire animals.
They'd been shucked from the heart of their grey mothers
which is why, so often, you'll find them
nestled at the neck and breast.
It stood to reason.
The sea was one long necklace,
and they often thought of that country.

Its customs waylaid them,
and it occupied their minds.
Nobody missed them.
The oysters felt nothing,
neither here nor there,
down on the farm and miles out to sea,
those swaying crops.

Rolled to create circumference.
Opened to accommodate
the small strange foreign irritant
that hones itself to a moon.
The oysters say
'it's a lulling stone, that outside heart
turned in, and beating.'

They knit their fields of nacre, and are quiet.
The clouds converge.
It's a sad constabulary,
the sky and the sea, and the boats.
Because piracy is common
the farmers carry guns. Does the sea
object, marshalling its edges?

Do the fish know
their glint, those inward birds
in the fields of the Pacific?
It's a singing bone,
the indivisible pearl.
It's a bright barred thing. And pearls
are empire animals. And poems are pearls.

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