TROUT   [5]

Stephen Oliver: [1 , 2 , 3 , 4, 5]
from The Still Watches II & VI 


The seeing wears away the seer:
twelve years further on Voyager 2 putts
out through the pin-ball solar
system, past Neptune and beyond the
reach of time. Another day in
the round and the cliche of uneventful
incident has not yet arrived.
The balloon that is so majestic on 
the plump air tumbles as heavy
as a plumb-bob onto the countryside,
trailing its fifty seconds of life
huddled to impact. The cattle
scattered, the sky did not change but
released names into the wispy
afternoon. Then all is as it was
before the tragic flight, except
the calm that betokens fear.
And  clouds rich as coalmines gathered
from open-cast horizons are
transported in carriages of wind
down the chutes of mountainsides, over
the belts of grainfield to boost
the corporate climates, and to market
each end of the world gyrally.

A blotting paper of sky, the soft
tear of thunder, then lightning. Who
would demand of the wise a word
to steer by? Nostradamus throws his
hands in the air after the event:
'mark well my words, I told you so'.
Backward we look upon his bag
of tricks, and with each new calamity
a surreal rabbit lifts before youe eyes.
Ribbed streets! Pneumatic heartbeat!
Prophecy is the Art of Boredom
for one who cannot stand his own company
from one moment to the next.
He pulls the hat trick, feigns the 
future, argues the task of his breath
wearily on its way. Some ravel
dreams to ctscradles in whose
uninhabited solitude, slowly as a yawn,
wish to pull forth the Super Strings.
Call it a living this space
between meetings. Those encirclements
that bind us together temporally.


He will come urgent as a food
riot. beware the man who sheds tears of
mercury. His cough alone will thin
out the ozone. he grips oceans with 
the black fingers of trawlers.
His voice is a slow leakage in the Third
World Night. Beware the Waste-Broker.
He comes to paint your wellsprings
ivory black and chrome yellow. You will 
know him by his industrial oath:
"$40 a drum! yes, only $40 a drum"!
Senegal, Nigeria, West Africa,
the sun dangerous as a forty-gallon drum.
Drums stacked on rotting pallets
in the back yards of tropical forests.
  © 1998