Brad Reyes 2004 All Rights Reserved

Harbour Song

come home to synaesthesia
devious-levity is your credo,
up on the treacherous bluff
into that windswept-russet
note the pink & amber tones
taste the saltfish breezes —

let the evening flower settle
among the wind-birds —
the ruff & the reeve,
the cutters & the strong-
winged whimorets —

as you are, so you’ll write —

love turns life into riotous color

voices drift from the wharf
turning the air to counter-point —
barrel-chested Dominican fishers
empty their afternoon nets,
& shout Spanish obscenities —
laughter of underpaid slaves,
mingling & making harmonies
with the flapping & slapping
of grouper & flounder,
slapping& flapping,
fruit de mer farmed for the deity —

call her The Irish-American day-queen
she’s the raison d’etre for the sloops
& for the brawn & for the strenuous haul
for the strained docks & these exhausted fishers
& the elusive hues of her skin
mimic the bay’s shifting surface
its respiring is another ode, unhushed

the crest & ebb & surf-crash, cresting
yet again into out-going foam — call it cascando
thin-fitness — ocean’s essence
fluid openness — amoral impulse

force philosophers to sing accompaniment
to the truancy of this stray & fickle
wonderment of aboriginal syntax —
some lingua franca & raw noesis,
freed of the puritan addiction
to duals & “truth” — flaunting even the most
ludicrous “rejected” title —

Contralto of May, Lace-Flag of the Sands;

inspirited by the orange of dusk,
draw faith from these meshed scents
& sing strange responsorial psalms
to sacraments of fun — freckles,
a fedora & out-of-place gloves —

at-swim in this Easter-tide bounty —
these white-capped greens & regal blues,
here, bluest in its depths, as red & yellow
starfish jewel the coral & sudden schools flash
in watery gold — frenetic — swarming over the cress.


Tim Keane
Copyright 2004


Tim Keane is completing a book of poems called Waking Yellow & Blue. Poems from this collection have appeared in Denver Quarterly, Modern Painters, International Poetry Review, and many other magazines.

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