Anne in Scarborough, 1849

Last night I dreamt
that I lost all my clothes in a shipwreck
and started dressing as a man.

I have many schemes in my head
for future practice
and the north wind’s wild swell

is like our days in Glass Town
when you were Currer
and I was Ellis and she was Acton Bell.

Last night I dreamt
I was the Queen of Gondal
reflecting on my life from a jail cell

but here where the weary are at rest,
waves lave the South Sands
like blue mercurial pills.

Last night I dreamt
that my lungs were filled
with the clefts and caverns of Scarborough

in agates and cornelian pebbles
I took courage, in hillocks of flowstone
I walked, a tenant of the waters.


After the hunting of the hares
Mock sermons and jousting bears,
In the baronial hall of Brackonwet
There’s a tale I pull this way and that,
Like a priest juggling a faithful gnat
Or a king red rosing a naked soubrette.

I have spent too much time on the Scottish border
Chasing game for a gag.
I have spent too much time gaming the border
For a gag of swords.
I have spent too much time
Gaging the word

With the goliardic crowd:
Pipe and Tabor, Fiddle,
Windcap, and Shawn,
Ribald and ballideering one and all
But gleemen to my scop, roistering
Youngsters to my seasoned crop.

That night I juggled many dreams
And froth’d my bumpers to the brim
With ale at The Green Gate in Derbyshire.
Five warbling blackbirds glissaded the glen,
And beneath a tree, tattooing her groin, Lady Vivien
Knows the little rift within the lute.

Town to town and back again to Brackonwet,
The wine sharp-toothed, the royal table set
With a black swither of eels to kill twenty earls.
O, behind the iron door and stone wall
Sits the shattered luck of Edenhall
Like a future tale of Montagues and Capulets.

— Damon Hubbs is the author of three chapbooks: Coin Doors & Empires (Alien Buddha Press), The Day Sharks Walk on Land (Alien Buddha Press) and Fly Creek (forthcoming from Naked Cat Publishing). He lives in New England. Twitter: @damon_hubbs

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