Martin Chambers

Martin Chambers Header

Where are you now?

The kookaburras bite holes into the winter stillness,
gaps that fill with nothing, not even silence,
and as I drag myself awake I know that
whoever calls their cry a laugh did not live this day.
This day like no other in a landscape of days
that are all the same, all the same.
I walk the dog to the beach and he bounds and barks,
at the waves, at the birds, at everything.
It is all I can do to toss the ball but it gives me at least a little space,
and I watch and think that as if to compensate my listlessness he chases possessed.
Maybe. It was always you who threw the ball.
You know, that blue ball with the green outline of continents,
the world, the one you said always was his favorite.
The ocean is quiet this morning, punctuated by fishing boats and a painted island,
ships slip away off the far edge but I do not have my poets eye,
This is not an ocean of possibility where the horizons beckon,
or hide the promise of new and unseen things, or sing sail away,
to places nowhere that I want to go.
I see a desert, an endless same, an aquatic drudgery.
I look down at my feet and to the spray of sand as he digs to China.
Is each grain a world? Are you on one of them?
Are we thrown into chaos at the whim of some cosmic dog,
who hurls our world and thousands like it to the breeze,
We fly, out of control, to who knows what oblivion?
Or is that flight a short sweet thing? A brief and living lifting from the tide?
I search for reason but all I find is some dog tossed thoughtlessness,
and I see that ultimately we are fallen and drowned,
washed away and lost with all that came before,
swirled and mixed among all that is to come.
I carried your ashes to the beach. Our beach.
You stained the water, the white sand, I cried a second ocean.
This one an ocean lost of possibilities.
Then I lay down to drown in the sand
and for the first and only time in his life,
the dog sat too, licked my salty tears,
as worlds were washed away.