My right hand is Nessie's head,
her neck my dripping arm. How old
is the dinosaur? Forty
or fifty million years.
Can the dinosaur sing? No,
too old; but likes to be soothed
by others singing.
I open her thumb-
at least to let her speak
in her quavery Triassic,
'Take me to your leader!'
—to which you instantly,
I haven't got any leader.
What, meanwhile, are my own terms?
Suspicious argot I used to spy on.
Strange, that we dwell so much
sometimes, on self and such,
that we can spend an age without
a clear view out:
when, if I asked the mirror once
in the way of an old queen,
to frame how things might look
twenty or thirty visits thence,
all it reflected back was white
and unrefracted light, the mean
prophetics of a closed book.
Copyright © Mick Imlah, 2008