The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Fiction from Mexico City

Derek Adams: 1 Poem Published

Poem by Derek Adams (UK)

Published in The Ofi Press Issue

 

 

West Quoddy Head, Lubec, Maine

 

Candy striped, the red/white shape of a lighthouse

is a slightly raised weal

against the solid blue-sky background

on the punched lid of a cookie tin, that lies

before me on a table in the window of Annabell’s Pub.

The scene is repeated on a postcard

with the legend ‘West Quoddy Head,

Easternmost point in the U.S.’

I flip the card over, swig on a Bud,

write ‘At this point

nothing separates us but water’

 

I do not mention:

how standing there

the cool breath of an entire continent

rode the hairs on the back of my neck,

that the red and white stripes

reminded me of your scallop neck T shirt,

the one with capped sleeves from Top Shop,

that made you look as if you were

about to perform the French apache dance.

 

Or how the vast Atlantic

with its black abyss,

up and down moods,

currents and under-currents,

disappears into amphibious fog

that sits on the sea and land for days.

That the locals say ‘All the fog in the world

is manufactured in the Bay of Funday’,

or how the monotonous fog-horn cries

relentless as a toddler.

 

That the street outside this window

resembles a scene from that John Carpenter movie

and I am waiting for buccaneer ghosts to appear,

or one of H. P. Lovecraft’s creatures to slither past,

its ancient tentacles reaching out

to pierce my chest and crush my heart.

 

That already some nameless forgotten thing,

right out of Stephen King’s novel imaginings,

that walks between the shadows

of the Douglas fir and the spruce,

has taken possession of my dreams:

where I still see your drained face,

red rimmed eyes, the blue circles

from fingers and thumbs on your pale skin.

 

I order another Bud, sign off with the habitual ‘love you’

add in brackets ‘your Maine man – ha ha!’:

slip card and tin into

a red, white and blue pre-paid envelope

which I will drop in the mailbox tomorrow,

when hopefully the fog will begin to clear.

 

 

About the Poet

Derek Adams’ chapbook, Postcards to Olympus, won the Poetry Monthly Booklet Award 2004 and was named "Best Individual Collection Of Poetry For 2005" in Purple Patch Magazine's annual Best of the Small Press list; a collection Everyday Objects, Chance Remarks was published by the Littoral Press and unconcerned but not indifferent - the life of man ray came out from Ninth Arrondissement Press, soon after. He was the BBC Wildlife Poet of the Year in 2006.