We are drawn to saltwater

Some grandmother of mine once
raised her eyes to this horizon.
Not this one, no. A bluer one, a greener,
but she saw the weather coming in,
great storm clouds, brown as bruises,
waded to shore, gathered her children.
Tucked in out of the rain, she told the story
of the storm, the fish, the limpet.

That’s how we began. We built the world
from sand and seashells, coloured it
with words, wove ourselves cloaks of myth.

So, yes, I’m called here – my chest
opens at the smell of seaweed,
saltwater echoes in my veins,
my heart the moon. Yes, I look out
to the horizon, watch for weather,
yes, I’m lulled by wavesong,
yes, in this untamed place
unmappable, unclaimable,
I map myself, I claim my own breath. Yes.

Sherry is hosting at earthweal this week and asks us to write about the wild places that we connect to.

6 thoughts on “We are drawn to saltwater

  1. I’ve been reading an 1888 collection of Hebrides and Highlander song, and there’s a wonderful note that islanders and shore people would walk great distances to stand by the sea and sing along with its tidal weavings. The tradition of that is so rich in this poem, in a grandmother’s voice, a singer’s distant memory, the eternal return to the salt soak & susurrus. Lovely, Sarah, and royal for the challenge. – Brendan


  2. This is so lovely, the grandmother’s voice, building the world from sand and seashells, colouring it with words. Sigh. Just beautiful, especially each affirming “yes”.


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