ocean

cradle to grave

I’m afraid

I am not brave

fingers move

over stitches

bump, bump, bump

tiny precision

treadle, needle, spindle, cradle

what good does it do

to share your opinion

say fix it

my way

drink and pass out

in front of the TV

when every night

I imagine

swimming out

scarred, unscared

because

I won’t return

to worry

about courage

unaired


Photo: Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash

treadmarks

 

I am the watcher

the runner

unofficial custodian

alone

non-partisan

my feet pray

to mother earth

my breath

synthesises

salt-sea molecules

of sky

and my eyes

monitor

the ways

in sweeping surveil

from mountain

to ocean

and over there

the horizon

mine not mine

owned only

in a global

internal

knowing

tread the land

stomp the sand

it’s yours, ours, no one’s

take care

 

Photo: Claire Doble

unshed

scaggy bits of behind-fences

scan past, scad by

on the side of the train track

and I see the torso of

a dead deer or kangaroo that had

too many ribs too close together

and some of the skin was still there

my unuttered scream

is trapped somewhere in my chest

or at the base of my neck

an anxious vapour, a cloying veil

I am so afraid I can’t cut through

and share the poignancy of the world

beside the railway or

the pink clouds over the ocean

that are the colour of a ribbon for a girl

a pink ribbon that would show a spatter of blood

bright red at first then fading to brown,

rusty like dirt like old wounds like

dusk of the golden hour like

Sunday on the shortest day of the year

as evening closes down like

unshed tears, a stain

somewhere near my heart

a red-brown patch that

will never be washed away

do you know this feeling. Do you? Do you

do you unweep, unscream

and hold that feeling, yes that one

in your body

on a train?

 

Photo by Emile Guillemot on Unsplash

Besides, I have poems to write

 

Evidently the sea

has taken away the sand

leaving rocks where

before it was dunes

 

and my shifting day

stole away an idea

beauty shimmered, lost and

never wrote it down

 

one request got through

(and first thoughts

are not best regarded

– even angels fear to tread on broken beaches)

besides, I have poems to write

 

Photo by Jan Kahánek on Unsplash

Kintsugi

 

hold the wind in my arms

ghost trees toss

their shrouds of

pale cloth

while wave-feathers trail

white-peacock fringes

behind surges

irreparable

over rocks

as my tin-can heart

soaks up

songs from

half-forgotten harmonicas

I’m poised

a broken-bevel jewel

seeking kintsugi

to gild old scars

 

 

kintsugi is the Japanese art of mending broken pottery with strands of gold lacquer

Photo:  Claire Doble

Lessons

 

I learnt permanence from the beach

the way the sand never shifted

and the dunes stood still

a dead spike-backed fish

forever there, the arcs of tides

ancient and fixed

 

I learnt love from the sea

constant, predictable

ever reliable

turn your back, nothing happens

risk free

and the rocks, so orderly

 

I learnt life from the wind

always that solid blue

careful, unchanged

no cloud-claw wisps

nor breeze-tossed leaf

to mar my view

Aurora

 

remember emerald grass

and the hot sky zinging

above a field laid out

to the left of a train line

a cloth unfurled

that curls to a valley

steep-walled with bergs

feels like the bluegreen ocean

in that it’s hard to know

whether the strongest desire

is to be in it, or observe

back once again

emotions shot through with

brine-cool air from outside

the world full of birds

and vines across the window

like it’s been a hundred years

Two minutes to midnight

The night air is full of the sea
and it pours, thick
through the kitchen flyscreen
as poignant-melancholy music
rises to meet it like a wave
and I contemplate never drinking again

Watch Greta Thunberg on TV
fist-bump Obama and then
make an impassioned plea
her hair grown to Rapunzel length
that means
it’s been at least a year, please let her win

As the rain falls helpless, heavy here
in parched fields beyond
farmers cry drought-tears
and I see broken, unfixed water pipes
beside the train line I’m overwhelmed
by how little we care

 

Image: Pacifica Australis #3 – Tiger Nautilus Shell by Christopher Diaz (sculptures at Killalea). Photo: Claire Doble

these waves

these waves

stacked like trays

in the corner of Vinnes

a mess of levels

all over the place

and whoever said

liquid is flat

a plane of rock

like a jewellery box

glory spots, lots of treasure pools

the smooth grace of sea

draws up her skirt

gathers into a bastion

of Prussian blue and

as wind stipples the topfoam

back in a cockatoo crest

and the rest

tips forward

crashes on and over

those uneven shelves, the

cutlery drawer

of my coastal shore.

elephant-hide stone, I hop

from plane to plane and feel

brave

like the water could

engulf me

at any stage but of course

I’m safe

not near enough the edge

prefer to watch

put my mind

in the boiling blueturquoisewhite

cauldron and thrill

to the thought of

how I’d die, cold and afraid

while a cormorant

slips oilsmooth

quicksilver, alive in the place

that would surely be

my grave

 

 

Photo: Claire Doble

Finally recorded one!

Link: https://soundcloud.com/user-808707280/these-waves