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  • Worms in the Heart:A Lament for Tom Deadlight
  • Helen Steadman

Belied by flat pewter and lavenderthe Auster flogs the glass, gathering wind.

Sure as Blue Monday when the Black Book's read,we're dead ahead, lads now, to Fiddler's Green.

Carried by salt dreams over ribs of sand–red bleeds of seaweed to far horizons

where the fat ghost of the voracious seahaunts the shore, scavenging for its next meal.

The fleets are tucked up in Bedlam, but forus in the abyss, three hundred fathoms

from the skin of the sea. We can't see orhear—only la Lutine bell as it tolls

down the list, marking the age of the tide.Adornings adrift in horse latitudes–

blagueurs dressed up to the nines in dollyshop rags, left to the brethren of the coast. [End Page 159]

Helen Steadman
University of Aberdeen


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