Prompt: Ten things found at an auction house
Drowsy, heat drenched day in the dusty rooms.
What sent my idle hand aloft – to bid – on a whim?
Seeded by some drifting dandelion prompt blown
by the sly goat eyed stranger dressed head
to toe in good tweed. Smart cane, hat tilted over horn.
Lot sixty three, Splintered, stencilled – bound with steel
heaved home. Breathlessly.
Now sat cross-legged – tea in hand, fragrant brew.
to prise it open. Impatiently.
First a cacophony of jumbled shapes snarled about with wools and string
Odd screws, unknown coins and here,
a key. Rusted, curlicue and heavy.
Next a strata of wooden edges. A cup bound with gold
Black bog wood – blood wine stains – reeking of holy
wooden teeth, satin smooth – scented with apple.
Here; Mahogany – ship in a bottle. Beneath this haul
A knot that needs unpicking. Thick lustrous rope. Like
holding seaweed – or some semiprecious pearl umbilical twisted in the propeller
of a tin model plane. Golden B clanking, I trace the AE on the cockpit before
Swooping to land it.
Rolling on the bottom – a stoppered test-tube wrapped in an envelope
postmarked Porlock. Inside- the middle of a poem, strangely haunting.
Snagged in a corner a flagscrap of vibrant yellow silk -sewn to the edge a list of
secret runes – a chemical shopping list.
Late afternoon light slides in like syrup – slipping to the bottom
of the chest as I tilt it out of place
to check I have lifted every listed secret up to my face
to be inspected.
With tender shock I see a ragged edged moth pinned to the wooden slats.
Silver headed stabbers. Demanding relentless things.
She turns her furry head. Hope she sings.