Robert Gray




Late Ferry

The wooden ferry is leaving now;
I stay to watch
from a balcony, as it goes up onto
the huge, dark harbour,

out beyond a gangling jetty;
the palm tree tops
make the sound of touches
of a brush on the snare drum

in the windy night. It goes beyond
street lights’ fluorescence
over dark water, that ceaseless
activity, like chromosomes

uniting and dividing, and out beyond
the tomato stake patch
of the yachts, with their orange
lamps; leaving this tuberous

shaped bay, for the city,
above the plunge of night. Ahead,
neon redness trembles
down in the water, as if into ice, and

the longer white lights
feel nervously about in the blackness,
towards here, like hands
after the light switch.

The ferry is drawn along
polished marble, to be lost soon
amongst a blizzard of light
swarming below the Bridge,

a Busby Berkeley spectacular
with thousands in frenzied, far-off
choreography, in their silver lamé,
the Bridge like a giant prop.

This does seem in a movie theatre;
the boat is small as a moth
wandering through the projector’s beam,
seeing it float beneath the city.

I’ll lose sight of the ferry soon—
I can find it while it’s on darkness,
like tasting honeycomb,
filled as it is with its yellow light.