by Aidan Andrew Dun


for Don Eales

A thermometer
dipped in a cup of tea
(when Mooma
wasn’t looking)
was precursor to
a day in bed with
Dylan Thomas.

Under Morne Coco
in the valley of
Diego Martin
he would lie and listen
to humming of
vast steel bees
working in the distance
to make the
honey of justice:
yellow bulldozers
flattening the rainforest
for affluent white

He would doze
wake, hear them again
droning as they shifted
the wet red earth of
the tropics; their faraway
monotonous song
hypnotized, left him
feelings after sleep:
a sense of isolation
in quarantine, bedbound
under sheets of surrender
flags of convenience:
Under Milk Wood
only balsam

Later when
‘fevers’ subsided
through long twilights
equatorial shadows
he would wander out
in search of the monsters;
and find them, shut-down
still-warm in early-evening
the huge Sankyo tractors:
the Cats.

Their cabins
called him, their tracks
impacted with mud
obscenely delicious
insisted he mount them
slide-along metal
ridges thick with clay
to play gear-levers
as thick as lianas
pedal earthy
intractable treadles
half-nakedly exploring
power’s sensorium.

High up there
in yellow steel-cabins
on blue leather
he suddenly became
captain of a great machine
built to make the world
a fairer place:
a beast designed
to flatten the hills
raise the valley-floors.

Up there
he transformed
of destruction
to the canopy)
into the apocalyptic
operator destined
to make level:
a world where a man
could hold his woman
where every woman
could bear her child
without fear
without starvation:


Idealistic fevers
messianic temperatures
linger on this
yet having seen
the world and
sung that tune
(in wind and rain)
long enough to know
all change
begins within

Still someone drifts
back to those dusks
the truth of those
false flags
those soothing
rags of adolescence
with cooling breath
to clear the head