A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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March 2008, vol 4 no 1

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Ross Clark


A Roseprint Scrimshaw

henry’s rose of red and white, refitted, has become a glorious warship, bristling. embarking on its special mission, fanfared and heralded, it heels over and sinks. the king’s displeasure is enormous, his recourse nothing. what the solent claims it will not yield up for 20 (or 21) monarchs.

to the rose
dull fish

it rises on a sling with bones and implements, has become a thing of the seabed, must always be kept under salty water now. the lives of sailors are revealed, their work & their games, & nothing of the king’s.

their northern lives come to my city in a country then only speculation – their gear makes a journey beyond that of any ancient mariner, any ishmael. i see pencils & compasses & cups & blades of all kinds. the surgeon’s kithas already been opened . . .

in the ointment
a fingerprint
cries out