a single point, the nail-biter

the beat-the-split dangler

just out of reach - teasing but

like hunting a spring salmon

make the wrong move /


it’s gone – slipped into current

- shit-hooked in plain sight

by likewise desperate travellers

in multi-skiffs and home-late dinghies


and you spin about, clinging

on to what you have, upturned

until the massage of the current

caresses your ego – but stumble


and before you wake, it pulls

you under the split of tides

pummels your nerves, tests

the very notion of survival


and when the May blossom

gathers on the settled skim

you may have surrendered

to the weary hearted turmoil


rolling your exhausted carcass

on to the shifting, lower sands

where you left on your journey

upstream those summers past


or if the prisms, grant your wish

of good fortune, stand firm

and straighten into one beam

they’ll hook you by the label


on the last shirt bought

on the last trip to yon sunny place

and you’ll  float in easy circles

not drowning, settling into exhausted


beat-the-drop, contented sleep

until the next run, itches, nibbles

at your soul, and guddle-tempts you

to cast into the fast water again.