Bedlam Ship Graveyard
A woman dressed in summer sits above
the sandy strip of beach, where rusting ships
lie stranded, sinking slowly in the sand.
A mischievous breeze rests from playing tag
with graveyard flags and gusts inside the pastel
folds of her floating and snapping cotton dress.
The breeze is only a prelude to nine
singing horsemen who appear in clouds of sand,
their horses dancing nimbly through flotsam
and jetsam, while she dreamily observes
the swarthy, galloping men as they flit
between the peeled whites of her almond sighs.
She laughs, and dips her satin wing of hair
in radiant greeting, which expands in waves
towards the rusting entrails of beached ships.
The men reign in their steaming, glistening steeds
and call her a dew drop. She sighs and throws
a leg onto the wall, then evaporates.
Her beauty charms a squall, who from across
the delta sends a stormy messenger.
The horsemen wheel from her, leaving tenor
voices, which ebb away as wind reaps speed
from sea heat, hurtling straight towards Rocio,
while from the arena, ragged flags salute.
She leans far back on spread arms, an Egyptian
cross dangling over the cleavage of her rising
and falling sand dune breasts. The bliss of sun
and heat wets copper skin with beads of sweat
and she knows nothing of the stinging breeze,
flung like an arrow from across the bay.
It swerves between two yielding sentinels
whose drooping pennants snap straight out, while she
languidly uncrosses sun drenched legs and jumps
into a sudden wind. Her dress blows up
around her waist and from afar, the squall
stops chasing fishing boats to enjoy the view.
By Anthony Walstorm
Publishing Credits, “Bedlam Ship Graveyard”
• White Wall Review, Warrensbury, Missouri, USA, 2006
• The Lyric, Jericho Corners, Virginia, USA, 2005
• The Mid-American Poetry Review, Warrensburg, Missouri, USA, 2007
• Crucibile, Wilson, North Carolina, USA, 2005