Gifted in the field of triage,
Tended in a Pullman car,
I fashion myself a topiary enema,
Waiting to be imminently expunged.

Antithetical to the best solution,
I take a draught of Brompton’s tonic,
Ready to rouse the etesian herd and
Scatter around triadic patio chairs.

Prone to be supine, even on the best occasions,
I find myself in the full throes of a dispassionate
Calculation, fumbling: how many names can I fit in a bed?
A lot of thought is easier after casual titration.

Commensurate with the best professions
Is the outer heuristic; an avowal that
Plurality should not be posited without necessity,
And all we really need is cane.

All the while, and with the best intentions,
The Fremantle Doctor sucks honey from the Caspian.
His flaccidity brings shame to half humour,
But calm prevails now the roaring forties are over.

Caught in flagrante crying blue murder
Over my own formal weakness, the pair
Spoke through scratchy azimuths
And I —the West— stopped boxing the compass.

To meet a challenge in a dust jacket is harder
Than one may suspect. The sirocco finds the time
To batter distant shorelines; the odd chants
Of evensong taste better in the spring.

Fastening selfish buttons to impersonal ends,
I wonder how I mastered the instinct to flee.
A couple of dingy lions presuppose a fall,
As pride leaves variants on the nouveau autumnal.

Proficient only in sock puppetry,
A gag in the valences of my elective mutism,
I declare all Betz are off, the natural order fails,
The khamsin dances and all the quails –

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