Into the Walled Garden
to pick termites and lice for p rotein,
distended, bellied, bellying, rolling,
stumbling through the cloud wall
that falls upon their heads, thrown up
by trucks, gasoline tanks and steel tracks,
carrying frightened, disengaged boys
to the front, to the anima l within.
They walk on, thic k tongued, gagging
in unbearable heat, towards the queue,
towards rag bag tent homes,
towards plastic sheets and hand outs,
where the we lls run dry despite the drilling
and children lay down to die where they fall,
their mothers dry of milk with
barren loads still upon their backs.
Above their heads, upon the winged stars,
upon the shoulders of giants, satellites spin,
watching, silo watching, probing, identifying
clear and present danger.
Fro m my vantage point,
fro m this platform, five miles high,
way beyond the tether
of the safety harness, unhooked,
standing free upon this floating cairn,
I look down and watch clouds
drift underneath my feet.
The world spins. I a m fixed.
I a m on the point, beginning to fall,
feeling light headed,
the edge of the cairn swimming
in and out of my vision
instead of being clear and defined.
Winds water my eyes.
Orientation with sky and gravity fa ils,
the blues of light and air and dark land
hurl themselves around the rough
horn bones of my skull, twisting,
trailing tails of smo ke and heavy rain
across a disturbed landscape
that I call home . I breathe.
I a m fixed, five miles above sea level.