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Sport 12: Autumn 1994

Koenraad Kuiper — from Tales

page 152

Koenraad Kuiper

from Tales

She turns round briefly

and strokes the cat
it is a two stroke cat;
and the broomstick lifts like a harrier jumpjet.

They land in a small clearing,
set up the gear
and wait;
sure enough;

Macbeth comes by that way and hears the prophecy,
Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and shalt be King.
And he’s off on his favourite horse to tell the lady
what she already knows.

In a white gown, stilly she walks the parapets.
The blood pulses darkly in her arteries.
She sees the green oakleaves brush each other
stilly. It is late. It is late

page 153


on the back porch
the Taiwanese infrared sensor turned
on the Swedish floodlight;

but the quartz bulb blew
you see
and a fine rain of glass
covered the ageing concrete.

Since then the switch
is still triggered by movement.
It clicks;
but the light doesn’t turn on.

page 154

I wait for quiet from the crowded house.

The ear is always a deceiver
like the fox terrier cocking an ear to hear where

the last door closes again. The boards creak.
The suburbs are never
but a house will quieten.

I call it my house.
An engineer who wired phase to green also
called it his and a large family

the husband in electrical goods.
Unfashionable partrilineal descent
has insinuated itself through my fingers

on paint brushes into the nerves, through plastic
netting in
its gutters into the veins.
I sweep the paths to its approaches.

It gently waves the hairs within my inner ear
I am tickled by the rub of life
a sound

page 155

she was wed
briefly in a pink stucco
chapel in Nevada.

He was a sot, still
with firm glossed muscles
of a youth.

She saddled up in the morning
stuck the rifle in its holster
slung the bedroll on her horse’s shiny rump.

Her chaps clapped no louder
than normal as her horse clopped
out of the yard; her pulse beat slow.

He rolled over in the bed.
She was gone as usual.
He had sweated out the night.

In his damp nightshirt later he drank deeply
from the pump, ate leftovers,
found a half empty bottle and waited.

She found the circus to her liking
shot anything that moved
anything held up.

Now she’s just Ann Oakley,
Cat Ballou bath-house, still trim.
Her pulse beats slow.

He rolled about the ranch for a few days
helpless, waiting. Some friends came and
took him away.

page 156

l hear Bechstein’s

going broke.

It’s all there in black and white:
the cost of rearing
a sustainable crop
of elephants
in a re-united Germany,
ebony not growing anywhere
but in the jungles of Africa.
And there are always strings attached.

Hang on to your old Bechstein
by the finger tips.
Prepare for the end.