A still haze over the Bay completely shipless
on a bench at a nice distance from kids,
it’s safe to sit with you exhausted dreaming
of maybe writing a long poem about nothing,
or nothing so vital as the shipping,
the passage of containers and of liquid freight,
of Marlboro cartons, crates of Johnny Walker Red.
With what strange lines down stranger maps
do the tines of an ornate comb
brush the pilot’s flourishing moustache?
Walking at dawn you imagine the itinerary of the pilot boat,
a bald wake snaking slowly into shore.
You note that engine’s peculiar clatter, a rumble
as though the streets near water were cobbled,
a tram is heard to turn in the distance.
Tenants here explore this foreshore blearily:
at what weight, what cases,
would you measure the wines and spirits
my friends have cradled within greatcoat pockets
passing the Elwood Surf Life Saving Club?