nthposition online magazine

Americano, Scarlett’s place & The boating lake

by Matthew Paul

[ poetry - december 12 ]

Americano

The gastronaut
can’t resist a zebra spider
this Advent morning

(it’s the way it hangs
from the station rafters
at a gulpable height);

pushes the door
of the platform snack-bar
and orders a regular

black Americano
to wash down
a couple of legs

awkwardly lodged,
like blackberry pips,
between her teeth.

 

Scarlett’s place

When Scarlett pulls on
Spiderman gloves
and Mister Spock ears
she’s in her box
where no-one can disturb her
as she plays an organ with one hand
and scribbles in circles
with magenta crayon
with the other
until her music and picture
both somewhat resemble
an unopened tub
of semi-furred strawberries
flown in from California.

 

The boating lake

After fifteen minutes of plying a pedalo,
a lone customer frowns beneath his fringe
because the fun-park breeze has saved up
its breath for a right good go at billowing
into storm mode. He’s the only punter now;
and over the wind-whipped swell he can’t hear
the teenage attendant, who really doesn’t want
a drowning on her shift. But our man, having
coxed for Leander in his youth, steers 
an impeccable course through the tempest,
to step triumphantly from craft to shore
in as fluent a motion as the pitch-perfect poise
of a maverick Olympic yachtsman.