Wally Draws Real Gulls in an Empty Sky

Another new poem for The Wallace Variations.

Wally Draws Real Gulls in an Empty Sky

i walk with Wally & the dogs
down to the shore. On the way he
was all pipperoo, pippera, pipperum.
i asked the meaning of this, each word
(a neologism?) inflected, before
dropping into plosive starts— he shrugged,
pulled a face, dramatizing his shrug.
Much of the wind about
& clouds like bracketed prose

from which all sound issued
the largess of itself. He took
a pencil from his inside pocket
& waved it like a wand, lines drawn
he said let gulls with the faces of famous
men, in our likeness, but other,
throng like the rattle of dead sticks,
like things we have no name for,
yet know with the instinct.

& gulls appeared, like tuning forks,
populated all aspects & yet
remained, very much, gulls; perhaps
slightly pixelated, but that may
have been the effect of distances on
the eye— whether they had
the faces of famous men
i could not tell, they flew at such
exceptional heights, only imagining

could fill the gaps
the mind misplaced.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. kvennarad says:

    “How about them gulls!”

  2. kvennarad says:

    I love poems about walking by the shore. Getting that close to the [inexorable] sea seems to be a part of the poetic experience, like we can’t shrug off Shelley and Romanticism and The Sublime. I like where your words take me, even if my weird word-association jumps from ‘Wally & the dogs’ straight to ‘wally dugs’ (flat ‘a’) which is a Scots term for china dog figurines. Gulls are sea-crows in their randomness; famous men seem to belong to the Victorian era of statue-raising [I walk through a Scottish city and I see permanent statues to blokes I’ve never heard of – they’ve had their 15 minutes – and am impressed by the culture of an age when what one did was raise statues]. Sticks, batons, tuning forks… I warm to your Wallace collection.

    1. i’ve heard it said the sea is a great giver of inspiration, science even proved it, or summat like that.
      Glad you like these. They are somewhat easy to write & fun to write, i can let go & borrow. i usually wonder if i am doing the theme justice but here i am comfortable as i know a few Stevens admirers have expressed their admiration at the allusions & odd juxtaposition of the man in the now rather than in his own time.
      i recall statues in Manchester & had a similar feeling to you toward them.
      Plenty more of these on the way.

      1. kvennarad says:

        This juxtaposition – I did the same thing with a series of poems about Veronica Franco, the 16c Venetian courtesan.
        https://kvennarad.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/veronica-franco-and-i-visit-dundee/

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