The 4 x 4
This fact that glides the tarmac road
was once the showroom's glassy thought.
Marketing states the factory makes
these wheels to fit an outback's ruts.
Inside, its breathing, beating load
hums on. Its parts are seedlings bought
from many farmers' tended stakes.
It cruises past the fenced-off huts,
towards the next navigation node,
safari tour or urban sport.
Firing its parching engine takes
an ecosystem's bolts and nuts.
Now it speeds up, now it has slowed,
a motor yacht approaching port.
See how its bulk reverses; brakes.
A window whirs down, waits, re-shuts.
Alistair Noon has published two collections (Earth Records, 2012, and The Kerosene Singing, 2015, both Nine Arches Press) and a dozen chapbooks with various presses, most recently QUAD (from Longbarrow Press, 2017). His translations from German and Russian include Concert at a Railway Station – Selected Poems of Osip Mandelstam (Shearsman, 2018). He lives in Berlin.