A pibroch on Craigowl

gate-trim-1At Prieston there is a binary gate
Of ten inputs:
Many locks, many keys
And many combinations,
Only any one of which is required.
An Ur OR-gate:
Case open or shut.

But just beside
This logic of admittance
A grand big stone sits quietly by
Styling the fence
For any curious pedestrian.

Ne’ery a houllit nor a cliff
Have I found on Craigowl Hill,
But from the sky
You would discover
A question mark tattoo
Punctuating the approach.

2012-08-23 at 15-15-47A long-tailed query
That drives straight toward,
Then curls around,
This ice station Dundeebra.
My wintertime ersatz Planet Hoth,
A hill perched earth-station of sorts,
Guarded by a weel-happit soviet of sheep,
Drum skinned dishes intersecting
Long-sighted electromagnetic leys.

Now on a day in May,
Thawed at last,
Eight eights of eight steps up-slope
Will take me straight
From the first curve
Of the road’s eroteme,
To a tumulus maypole
Trig point hub.

A confluence of communication
Where unseen spokes
Lance the ether, and
Dot-dash hashed
Messages are relayed true.
Just as long before
Along and up and over
Those Old Straight Tracks.

No alliance snowspeeders skim the breeze,
Only the farm land rover
Cruises at very low altitude,
Its low-ratio growl,
Pursuing AWOL ovines.

But Merlin trainees did once compress this air
In four years of ‘forties finest.
Yesterday’s youth coming to sing,
Pulse pace quickened to piston strikes,
Of Spitfire and Lysander, and air-force Hurricane.

Today other aeronauts are on the wing
Their long curving faces swept down.
Unlikely aviators,
Shrieking their Pan! Pan! Pan!
Over airspaces claimed.

When suddenly mobbed,
Crow hectored into a Mayday,
He spoons sky into an abrupt stall,
And his improbable form throws
An unexpected Hollywood jink.
Dropping to clear air.

Still in flight,
An extraterrestrial piper,
The curlew calls shrill in parting,
The dislocated pulse,
Of estuarine flatnesses,
A scything echo of empty lands.

fieldsNo quine he, but some Doric fellow
Less strident than a New World loon,
But still a weird and alien voice,
Wailing the air apart, with his own
Strange, grace-noted chanting,
Beating between our common time.

About stevedsmart

Steve Smart is a poet and visual artist who also has experience in information design. View all posts by stevedsmart

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