Wednesday, 3 February 2010

A Hard Case

A Hard Case

You clasp the weed with a crooked claw
Or two, if the season of fighting has been a good one.
Tearing and stuffing into a maw of knives and forks,
An armoured omnivore you are, of all things you find.
I've watched you sieve, and poke and tear and cram.
An encased organic factory, processing your deck of mud.

The world comes in through those stalking, stalked eyes,
Front facing, yet seeing like some giant movie projector, you scuttle left or right,
Never moving forward but, like some immovable wall, backwards neither.
Even when you are too big for your boots,
A minor miracle you are, split and out you come again, but bigger.
A softy only for hours and then the hard man's back again.

A permanent calcium hunch, a pie dish on legs.
Lunch, ready wrapped in its own case, for a hungry host of scales or feathers.
You thank heavens for cool, wet, dark, deep mud, twice daily your security blanket,
Sinking down with a shake of bum and shell
As the tide, Moon's great wake, waits for no thing that breathes deep the tantalising mix of sea and river.
In your world of the eating and eaten, you're a three inch wide boy, taker-on of all-comers.

Scot Mathieson
November 2007

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