The cliff is a wave of rock
that waits. Settled on top
is an albatross nestling, facing
the way its mother left at first light.
It will not move but to blink, adagio,
till she comes on the front of dusk.
You set me likewise on this rock
and ordered me to stay.
My heart a vessel
misemployed above the watermark,
the sea’s black pelt gleaming
in the light underneath.
Steady is the pulse of the promisee’s heart:
one beat mutinous; patient the other.
from Patience, Mutiny
John Leonard Press, Melbourne, 2010