Weeds grow where they want to; not where they're told to grow...

erbacce-press

Jarlath McDonagh

Ship of Fools

A ship of fools crosses the sea.
The water is fat and breathing,
And they throw sticks at it, demented.
Merry and masked the crew howl
Cupping water that collects on-deck.
They’re mad, steering the eyeless ship-
tis’ the time’s plague when madmen lead the blind.

The sorry cargo, nose-up, wobbles and screams-
The music that is made if god dropped the plectrum.
It’s a tango of twangs and howling,
The captain sighs and claps his hands
When a distant port breaks the clouds.

Picking up squint-eyed little mice
And letting their imagination unravel
Down the growing watery slope,
The crew delight in slicing the water.

A century before them the lepers were the same,
Sweeping slates and going through the motions-
Snapping back time like a deck of cards,
The jokers taken out for later games.
They leapt and fell apart on horizons
And rowed boats too.

These rosy-cheeked maniacs, though,
Curdle in their isolation-
Find delight in solidifying.
A ship for floating and oars for stigma,
They drop the mice,
And there’s nothing in the scuttling
And nothing we can do to break them.

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