Poem To St. Epiphany

Dear Saint – I am a wanderer,
Though my pathways have been less substantial than yours,
I am not a child born of airports, found like Moses, in a basket,
On a baggage conveyor belt in Heathrow;

I was born in the nests of birds,
And in the eyries of eyeholes
Through which God sees the world

Out in the wilderness, it took me a long time
To fledge – but once my feathers burst out,
You could find me on the crosshairs of any
Cliff-face, bouncing my cries against the clouds

But you strayed to different climes,
Springing from the flipped tails of Norwegian whales,
And your good-humour is the fart joke that inspired the
Laughter of herring gulls and puffins

Diving into volcanoes, you swim through lava
Floes and lakes of sulphur, leaning the language
Of the landscape, and translating it into words

While I get lost in Welsh forests, you cycled through Berlin,
Getting caught up in bondage, and strange gothic sex clubs –
The water of life regurgitated through the leather-bound spiracle
Of a dolphin

As the female Bruce Lee, you punched your way to
Montreal, a prize-fighter of fish and scale, pounding nails
Angrily into ever-shifting floorboards, and life rafts that
Would not move at all

Now your laser-beam has turned its attention to me.
What do you want with this Celtic wild man
Who hides behind pews in abandoned churches,
And ever seeks to reside where The Green Man lurches?

Crawling out from someone’s fingernail,
I will pretend to be a tortoise,
And you, my swan, my Falkor, my dragon,
Use your claws to prise me out of my shell

A reconstruction of sunbeams,
And the dereliction of dreams,
Follow the river until it curves around the bend,

And in a tone lightly teasing,
Pleasant but never pleasing,
I begin a riddle it is not my job to end!



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