Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Seaside Pastoral

A small wooden boat, moored, secured
by a weathered and salt-encrusted, trusted rope,
like a cat, scratches, scrapes against the sea-stained post.
The boat is moved by the waves moved by the hidden moon
forgotten by eyes but not by the water
that shifts in the vessel, the vassal we call our body.

Footprints in stages of disappearance, like soft kisses,
or voices fading into the distance, litter the sand;
show signs of the meandering walk to reach the pier.
Along the shore, drying, crying seaweed tangled
or rolled up in long tresses, discarded like hair
on the floor of the local Hairdresser’s.

A stick stuck into the damp sand shouts aloud
a single unbroken plea to connect, combine
through a thin shifting shadow, the sun with the ground.
A seagull, pirate bird of the sky, buffeted by Antarctic winds,
stays aloft, balanced by wings stretched taut, feathers ruffled,
hungry eyes glued into the deep green of fishing choices.

Mary stands at the edge of the world, her feet,
feel the earth beat, sink into the world beneath the sand:
She is lost in spray and the world’s rumble of ocean
while in the distance voices of children, explore,
explode like firecrackers on Guy Fawkes night,
let loose bright squeals and fiery cries of discovery.

To the rhythm of his happy heart, an early morning jogger
runs along the shore while Jack’s wet hand pats the sand
into a mound the size of a mountain. Grey clouds are gathered
by the strengthening wind so that sand is sprayed, the wind whispers
secrets about the world’s making and the Jack pauses, his nose
sniffs salt, he feels the rain approaching from the south.

Mary, and Jack, together, look out to where the rain falls,
far out beyond the largest waves, out where whales swim.
Silently they clasp hands and wonder — will minor spirits
consent, cart their flesh to fantastic shores?
Could the two of them fly on the wind or sail upon the waves,
find themselves on an island where Elves come out to play?

The spell is broken by their mother’s re-appearance;
she leads them away from the shore and into the shelter of the house.
Mary and Jack eat lunch, devour each grain of their sandwiches,
drink orange juice, listen to the parents talk, their eyes
drawn back to the edge of sand and water, back to the distant horizon,
back to the possibility of that fantastical land just beyond.

No comments:

Post a Comment