October 2003, Non-metrical split couplet
Run little turtle, run for me
Swim little turtle, swim to freedom
And little turtle, when you’re free
Dance little turtle, dance for me.
~the people on the hill
The sand cracks, I take a peek,
A whiff of a world I’ll only frequent
Sun ringing, crisp air, cool sand tickling my nose—I tremble
Like a finger without thimble,
Exposed. I struggle forth, amazed with the beauty, the birds.
Overtakes me to slip from the shore. Oh, look! Not far,
A whole lot of me budding and shuffling toward the sea.
The low frequency
In the wind spins whirlwinds, the colors are so bright.
So different than last night.
I inhale, my palate explodes, the scent of seaweed
So neat, there are no roads! A gust upon my face
Unfolds an air lift with a twist,
As gold. It’s a great day for a dip, I’ll explore
As a form crosses the sun and circles once more—a goodfella,
Wow! So quick, oh, he’s dive-bombing now.
I look around.
And why are those people up on the hill yelling,
As if they’re suggesting I move?
Oh, God! He just ate one of me! Yellow mouth vice
Bad. Oh, jeez, six or eight out of one-twenty, reduced
Four, sixty, two—a handful. What luck,
I survived the selection. I survived the waves.
Of jackals, wild pigs—insane. This is quite rare,
Is my mom? I’ll take refuge in this rusty can.
Not for long. I must drag myself to the sea. Go fast.
A foot less, I’m so slow. No, fast, I will go
Straight as the crow,
Eyes! He pecked out one of me’s eyes! Oh dear,
Keep plugging just twenty-five more years.
They’re blocking my view. No accumulated salt
Yet, just the thought
Of the blue. Now quick, flip by flip, gosh, I’m so slow.
Trickles of aid wrap soft like a handkerchief
On my ankle.
And why are those people still up there,
I could’ve used a little help you know!
Ahh, it seems my sight has improved.
By the undertow, swirled and shoed.
To a worry in the back of my mind, yellow beaks,
Munching the orange-peel soft carapace
Snazzy, if I move my flipper like this, I glide.
No need for a guide,
I’m quite alive. Whoops, by surprise I’m tossed
The sun, obstructed again, casts a long
Shadow and is gone.
What’s that figure? It grows. A big fish,
No, a shark!
Not this again. Go! Paddle fast as a galley
Gunpowder’s incentive if you ask me,
At home, yikes, what’s this? SWISH…
Ha hah, missed!
Look mom, I can survive on
As I come up for air, their cheers blare
Jeers and suggestions of what I should know,
I yell back, I’m not impaired!
However, that I am little and my culture is different... they probably don’t