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Sport 23: Spring 1999

Nick Ascroft — Terrain Ignorant Tourist Beastie

page 47

Nick Ascroft

Terrain Ignorant Tourist Beastie

The above overcast after-dinner mantle eats another lamb plane &
Beneath, the overground I'm a gazelle in the underground,
Fleet-feeting the escalators, defting & buck-be-nimble through
The beams of advertising eyes, easing through an avalanche
Of the ill-at-ease the Savanna, I forgot an avalanche of wildebeest,
Horn-ed & humped dreary prairie beasts, I'm under & over their
Underbellies & backs, a bullet & a feather through their legs.

Vocabulary for roots & berries, I swing in on the vine of the lightswitch
& Beeline for the back of the bog-door. & There, ohr, servant up
A lazy tumult, the oo-oo-ooh-oo ah-ah-ah-ah of the jungle or urinal,
Punker-walla the tiger's tails, have them roar their breath out to
The hand-dryers, bury my shrunken head in a dictionary of onomatopoeia,
Bandage clangorous fortnights in sentences & plumbing & mummify
Me through the months. A quick ambled prance, two cavorts & a gambol

& I'm a game mammal entering an intersection, some India or Africa,
A safari through the cars, nipping my herbivorous teeth back from
The whack of hips of two taxicabs rhinocerising the red lights.
I'm a free meal, freeforming from tree to tree in the needless treelessness
Serenely freethinking off the teeming flies of carrionising ideas
In a whirl of words, hoofing it from the froth of clouds, & the clouds
Offering for a second the wing of a plane, for a spring aboard, then
Greyness, & I spring gaily in the greyness, in the air, an ignoramus.