Night skies seen on razors edge, a dubious godly gift.
Perfect vision astronomic distances so clear.
Sightless in close mangrove swamps,
Other focus monsoon blur.
Semaphore crabs never shunted. Information passed each day.
marauding marabou mouths -beware-click-clack-beware.
wicked waders watching -beware-click-clack-beware.
sudden beak-death near upon us -silent-cautions-click-clack-stillness now.
rest now -click-clack- rest now-unaware.
Cadet Waxwing at her station, far point long departed.
Looping orbit long ecliptic from so very far away.
panic is our news! oh-danger is for certain-click-clack-danger now we see!
falling falling they are falling! no-no
too fastly downward very wrongly!
plummet homeward much too fast
speeding orbiter now seems damaged! did you see it? looklook double quick!
object impact? hostile actions? click-clack-mayday-mayday-in the sky.
crew soon all be burning -click-clack -frail and falling from so high
sound all warning quickly! click-clack-click-clack-fast-fast alarms now please!.
Fading double image flickers off, then on, and off again
Sky brakes they are screaming!
Hull shudders long and groans
Atmospheric glancing bounce!
did you see her? Did you see her as she passed?
intent upon the helm, so quiet in the vast.
pulsed in time-time, then back out out out……..
green-screen green-screen they have saved her!
crew removed from peril click-clack-shut alarms now please,
orbit re-established click-clack-check for damage (what had happened?)..
ceramic hull cooling cool now click-clack-masks discarded breathing slow start.
Starboard porthole she is dreaming, face pressed to the glass.
She looks with longing for her crab friends far below.
Ocean is so blue today (she sing-song sings)
So blue. so blue today, sings Little Waxie.
do you feel it? click-clack
she dreams now in the sky.

by-Doug Mathewson


I would like to thank Jonathan Lethem for the inspiration for this piece. I am completely in awe of his writing.  This prose poem comes from his novels “Chronic City” and “Girl in Landscape” which are very fine indeed.  Also I would like to apologize for how poorly this is formatted. Everything the crabs say is indented and in italics. Some how his is beyond the scope of WordPress.