Friday: What Marine Life Does For Us?
At Bayard’s Cove we’d throw
Tennis ball after tennis ball
Out for the family dog to fetch.
The beach was wracked with drift
Wood, salt scored bric-a-brac-
Matter that the waves sent back.
Long gone, but still I see his head
Above the surf’s lip,
The lick of water in his wake
I see a thin line
which might be half sea
the other half, sky
We are broken,
whatever you do,
place his letter in a bottle
let us sail to where
lemons and oranges grow
blow shapes on the glass
slowly turning around
let it go with the tides
into the perfect dream
floating on the chimes
tastes of particles of salt
in puddles of vinegar
Tastes of sugar
Babies in trollies scream
For smooth ice cream.
Dora Incites the Sea–Scribbler to Lament
Sees him at the far end of the strand,
squamous in rubbery weed, his knees bobbing
urchins, his lean trunk leaning, sea-treasure for her.
After it all (they mate, like carapaces, in parentheses)
Dora feels coolness in new places, lifts a reused
razor shell, mother-of-pearly and straight
and signals out to the swell of mouldering green.
Dora is electric, in love, and deep water.
Dora, Dora, Dora, in which dread is.
People people the beach, peering
through splayed hands, appealing:
DAW-RAAaargh. A boat sees her passing.
Sea-scribbler’s chest buckles
in aftershock—his quill is primed:
squid-inked and witful.
Sea stars on the glass.
Sweat toward each other.
Pores open to give kisses
that never touch skin.
on their backs burnished,
Evenings we send messages
in bottles that float a sparkling cyber-sea, only a wall between us.
Thicker than air, ten feet of granite.
But thin enough I hear you
from the bed where I float toward
a dream: tap-tap-tap,
you tap some song. I sleep
are still there.
Another Place by Anthony Gormley at Crosby Beach
His metal men, barnacled and lichened
stand firm on the beach. I’ve touched them,
marvelled at their beautiful limbs, the penis,
the proud bones of the feet. Each made the same
but changed by different encounters with the sea.
I’ve stood beside them, posed for photographs.
Today, they were dark dots in the spring tide
as the Irish Sea battered them, beating the Mersey
into coffee-coloured spray, thick with silt.
Salt spurted at walkers, the bitter wind
drove fingers to whiteness. The hundred
iron men appeared and disappeared, unmoved.
Do they look out, across the river
back to an Ireland they left on a harvest ticket,
riding the sea fourth class, saving every penny
to send home? Long before the famines,
they crossed backwards and forwards as if
the sea were nothing more than a road of water.
Blight came and hunger followed:
Fever, famine, emigration, deportation.
Tides recede, salt dries on rusted faces.
History’s hard stories are still told here.
Had they tongues to sing, they would voice
a hundred songs of yearning for home.
First published in Not A Drop (Beautiful Dragons 2016)
spray the rocks
after a boom
~ Christina Chin
pounding the rocks
a submerged Islet
~ Christina Chin
ah the sea, the sand, it comes in bottles now, dearer than the cheaper stuff.
i had not met her before, went in on the off chance. waited a while till she
she did it different, said nice things about my skin. in a small way she gave
i bought the quiche, sat in the cathedral grounds.
used the salt spray, and did not die.
come gently with birth
come gently with life
grow with the place
until we grew beyond how it was
beyond the culture and crowding
cycling the promenade hoping
some one will love us some day
baking down dunes
walking down tracks
barefoot hoping for less paving in town
2. humbling for a home
walking looking in windows
will some one want us
3. finding the two above
settling for the place where folk
come to holiday beautiful
while we work the bones of it
the grit beneath
the reason beneath the move away
is beyond any words i have just
come to holiday beautiful
All is the same there.
I left the stone yet the storms may have moved it a little.
I said hello to your hotel.
Yes the Durley Dene is good with a spa and a wonderful cream some tea oh and chandeliers of course. The other Bournemouth hotel whose name I forget was all mirrored furniture and starchy tablecloths.
Saw two films in the little cinema with a fellow traveller while others sheltered from the storm in the hotel lounge with sandwiches and games.
I avoid private views so a day at home after a quick trip into Dolgellau for the post etc. Hope you have a real good time in Dunoon.
Oh there is a good photography exhibition at Burgh Hall and the cafe is open there too. The library is open in the Queens hall and has stunning views.
A friend showed me her photos of whales up the watter. ..teaching their offspring to hunt. The watter turned red. It is said they swam up to Glasgow where they turned and headed back.
The framers up the back road may be open so one can visit his pet lizard. Have
Ps. There is a shop on a corner in Dunoon. Named Doon the Watter that sells Waverley posters. Rather good.
The Cloud Breakers
plunge and spill in the oceaned sky,
refract in a curve a gust of breath.
Cirrus ripples, cumulonimbus breakers,
your spirit observes as it rises above yourself
spread on a blanket laid on watered memory sand.
Out of body, out of mind, look at the lilted lap
at your feet of cloud tumble, wax and wane
of moon tempered ruffled white.
A tide of clouds inches down,
leaves a faint thought
of where it has been.