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Fuming Sulphurous by Allan Lake


While out walking this morning I got

what I thought was a brilliant idea

for a poem – ‘out of the blue’

is the expression I’m trying to avoid

but so it seemed on a cloudless day.

A bit like finding a dollar on the ground

but it’s more of an I O U, unsigned.

It’s only ever once around the park,

not Cinque Terre so I trusted myself

to hold on to my tiny treasure until

safely home with pen and paper

and fertilizer known as ‘coffee’,

which is normally step two of a multi-

step mapless hike that ends in ultimate

sacrifice/submission to invisible gods.

But moments later a flock of raucous,

cussing sulphur-crested cockatoos

from Hell or wherever they live,

flew right into my left ear, settled

onto branches of my brain and

did not shut up for the many minutes

it took them to settle some argument.

Only then did they flock off

out of my right ear on their mission

to disturb some other part

of the daydreaming world.

Damnation!

That may seem an old-fashioned curse

but it’s required now. While perched

inside my head, they stole that seed

I’d been hoping to cultivate and

there was no getting it or any

imagined harvest back.

So, nothing to do,

besides fume.


Originally from Saskatchewan, Allan Lake has lived in Vancouver, Cape Breton, Ibiza, Tasmania & Melbourne. Poetry Collection: Sand in the Sole (Xlibris, 2014). Lake won Lost Tower Publications (UK) Comp 2017 & Melbourne Spoken Word Poetry Fest 2018 & publication in New Philosopher 2020. Chapbook (Ginninderra Press 2020) My Photos of Sicily.


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