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Alistair Noon - Three Poems

Alistair Noon

Opportunity Below the Sunlight

As junior language clerk
to the cannabilistic squid
who cruise the non-disclosed dark
jabbing at prey that’ve hid
on a sunless floor from the shark,

inquisition-headed, who skirt
each other, polite and alert,
brisk in response, who tense
as a risk arrives and squirt
their pre-emptive defence,

your role is not only to hear
at their hunting meets the idea
that the justice of shoals is mere
ideology, or to feel
in the cold is to fail to be real,

but also to prize your presence,
a species deserving its own
documentary showing it roam
in bioluminescence,
deep in the aphotic zone.

Airport Lake

The water here’s not special:
a fuselage deep, half-clear.
Where engines embark your ears
like cases scraping the tarmac,
nature is artificial.

One-legged, long-beaked and judicial,
the anglers examine what’s near:
a movement, a minnow appears.
The radar, cupping its palm,
keeps whirling its rapid initials

at every slow manned missile
that targets the troposphere,
where a mint or mumbled psalm
will help you manage a fear
of loud interactive harm:

the silence is interstitial.
The naked beach is here,
warm as the Baltic, as calm.
For us and the cormorants, this year
the algae are back, it’s official.


It’s an autobahn scything the ether jungles,
vibrating up from a potplant base-camp,
half-hourly recital of beeps and jingles

from a radio 2-way tape player bought
with tenners plucked from a clattering till
before the pits were forgotten for bitcoin.

Sipping the morning’s amphetamine traces
borne on the Brandenburg water table,
I pick up my updates on traded spices

to restate the case that this state’s the case.
Before the ten o’clock sermon and dirge,
I’ve timed my Sundays to Essay und Diskurs,

but a fully-booked flight of Sahel Zone blokes
whose home’s beside the home of the Porsche
and the death devices have tried to block

their mate’s no-frills return and brought
the law to its padded knees, as Saxons
mob Scaniafuls of Syrians. Bright

are the logos, the leagues, the Dax and the dogs,
the warnings and winnings, routes and reports,
from Alpine checkpoints to Hamburg docks.

I hear them comment: “Let us be honest,
we all like to breathe but we need to balance
the air and the waves with the airwaves’ profits.”

There’s a news, of course, that nobody knows
that never stumbled from deserters’ deserts:
not making the news, it makes the news,

the talking point not the manager’s win
but all of the members that this squad takes.
I listen in to the host, and I’m one.

Copyright  © Alistair Noon, 2021

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