The Rusty Toque | Issue 3 | Poetry| October 12, 2012
SCUBA VS AQUA LUNG
to swim without surfacing
air pops out in long trails that roll
up in cobalt motion, adamantly
plumb with phobia
past slow thighs
two pairs of human fish caught
in a mighty push
what good is sucking air
from a can
if my straw warps past four
who is saving us in this frigid dark?
stuck vacuum of lung, raw in that
biography of a stubborn
who logs too many hours
swamp oxford clumsy
light won't slip through liquid murmur
is truth in soft mud
sway of salt
bright bulb in dark grotto
drag my soggy brain
out of this cold
FIRES IN THE CANYON
red earth, could be mars
if I didn't have my glasses cleaned
wasted kill pine, black against
layers like ants on a sand-
wedge cliffs at the far edge
of where my vision ends, distance
shorter than it looks yet twice
trains stacked with coal snake
endless through s-curves & bends,
noisy river yards below, box-cars
miniatured by the scale of vertical rise
on all sides.
it's easy to see why fire rips through
these arid, low brush hills. too
much parched fuel & a whole lot of oxygen
to stoke the coal.
streets reveal amazing things if you let them.
heavy feet, occasional alleyway soloist
& a son,
three months since emancipation, wrists thin
as poly rope,
fists like maracas in summer moonlight.
wouldn’t think a boy so slight the definition
you didn’t watch him run hot across the asphalt
into a blizzard.
sixteen years he mutated out of sight. no more
of pocket coins, only knocks, hollow tone-wood
& glass & fire.
we flinch at the flicker of lamplight. around the corner
a car starts,
backfires. we both jump, 2 feet in the air. his bounty
is on my head,
his lesions spread down my hands, his face full with
still so much a part of him.
GEOFFREY NILSON is a poet and musician who at one time went by Geoff but now believes Geoffrey to be more adult. After much youthful procrastination, he is currently completing his BA in Creative Writing at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. His poems have appeared in subTerrain, Copious Magazine, and as a finalist for The Malahat Review's Far Horizons Award for Poetry. He will only live in river cities and currently resides in New Westminster, BC.