ocean

Winterise

 

frigidaire air

cold on bottle-green arms

inhale exhale, snuffle-gulp

chill shots, no covid

don’t touch

turquoise face

stretch

alabaster calves

yellowhite, marbled

tight, neat, chocked, clocked

surprised but not shocked

ready to run

here it comes

breath like a vape

grey morning takes

extra

moments

to

arrive

pinkorange imperial glory

of clouds over

water as

ghosts glide

majestic

winter sunrise

 

Photo: Claire Doble

Skytumble

skytumble

and the breeze

tosses me

around

batters my

spiked edges

smooths

the turmoil

of the soul

I watch the

lines of cloud

chased to the corners

of blue

funnelled towards

a far edge, reaching

white, high and fleeting

and below

and beyond

waves rise

out at sea

alarmingly like

the dream

I had

last night

of a tsunami

greygreen

they’ll reach my windows

engulf the house

tight-sealed but

ominous

a trickle

down the wall

all-engulfing

enthrals

colours in a

tropical storm

aquamarine

slides sideways

more like

quiet horror

than fright

 

Photo: Claire Doble

The Wreck

A wreck of gold and crimson

over the horizon

an island out to sea

not far

frothed in waves and it’s

windy out there

back home the damp seeps

into everything

carpet, eiderdown, towel and bone

while the daughters rev and roar

next door

smoke blooms in the night

once more

peachlight clouds against grey-to-black sky

nostrils flare

all is so quiet but that smell of fire

over the horizon

there

it’s

a wreck of gold and crimson

beyond the shore

Photo: https://unsplash.com/@wtexxfaa1

Somewhat inspired by https://poets.org/poem/diving-wreck

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