(for Lawrence Ferlinghetti)
If your father is messing-inaction
you look round for replacement but
that’s your secret even you don’t know.
Dad: a beaten conundrum, flaking goldfish
that forsook water in favour of booze.
Son – not reflective moon – alters course,
makes tracks in deep space or sea,
learning to navigate, searching for gold
or god and despite the inherited folly,
trips into a riptide of lucky duck water,
finds himself in the wake of a whale
just off Coney Island and realises
it’s a wholly new brand of buoyant Daddy.
So long, all that’s familiar,
wasn’t really that good to know you.
Whale’s water-tight advice?
Remember everything except how to swim
back to land and create fluid language
any fish can understand.