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A diaspora of purged peripatetics with holey socks

  • 02 April 2007

The Pathway Of St. James After forty days of cheap wine and pilgrims’ dinners of nights rent by generous farts in frugal dormitories we ascend on blistered feet the stairs of stone to the Romanesque repository of the saint’s bones and pause at the great doorway of pardons to place our palms on its marble portal in the touching furrow worn by faith of centuries before we enter the shrine to indulge first moments of expiation roaming the nave, apse and chapels of atonement watching the stained lights of Christendom concede to soft Galician darkness before repairing to the bars of Santiago to commune in broken tongues with penitents of many nations until dawn compels us to trains and planes to streak over mountains, deserts and oceans, a diaspora of purged peripatetics with holey socks returning to the places from whence they set forth where other bones lie buried. – B.N. Oakman Little Congwong Still leaving. She was on the sand, marooned scratch bleach, in a sleep that rides the boundaries of death. Naked. Under sun never more bare. Flagrant innocence legs open, this driftwood beauty moans as her sister sprays her with sunblock. Harmonica ferns, flotsam joy, steel guitar breeze somehow overshot this autumn cove. As I drown Houellebecq in the shallows, real men discuss last night’s game. Found at sea. A smug grey 747 dilutes Botany Bay. Travel is the last benediction, our maid, our trade. Each eye is caged under tinted lens. Banksias crowd the verge. Down the northern corner a small spring with a bucket underneath provides a freezing sluice. Weeds, money and Emma’s mobile phone wheedling beside the towel. Misplaced future. It will kill us the sun our exhausts. But we fly. – Les Wicks