Lasting longer than the Thirty Years War,
than half our biblical shelf life, this marriage
has grown like coral – drops of the slain
Medusa’s blood – become, like Corallium
Nobile, a charm against fits, poison,
sorcery, whirlwind, lightning, fire, shipwreck!
From Norway’s fjords to the Cape Verde isles,
the Niger’s delta to the Orinoco’s,
reefs build, decline: the slow massing of
defunct algae, discarded oyster shells, lost
sailors’ bones; the unmarked ebb and flow
of topless towers, clayey tenements.
So, let’s celebrate chance, charity, courage –
Fortune’s inexorable comrades.