Down in the blue-green water
       at nightfall some selving shapes
float fluorescing, trance-dancing,
       trembling to the rhythm of
theodoxical marching-
       music that they hear over
the mere noise of the breaking
       tide. Above, stars in certain
places; along the shore roads,
       cars carrying people on
uncertain errands, sordid
       and sacred and all the kinds
in between. Halogen-lit,
       a woman gets down from her
all-wheel-drive velocipede,
       enters through an obeying
door a cyclopean store
       to buy unintelligent
fresh fish and other objects
       whether formerly alive
or formerly dead, she comes
       out again, a poor man calls
to her, selling his no-news-
       paper; the disastrous head-
lines smile and nod, they announce
       the plans of steel patriots
and undertakers, ad-men
       and fallen vice-generals,
doping their stolen crusades.
       But the woman has learned, as
I have learned, as all of us
       must keep learning if we are
to be good subjects, how to
       make of a newspaper the
mask of a locust, calmly
       put it on, and begin once
more to eat everything up.

More Poems by Reginald Gibbons