A weathered bench – an inkling for Misky

The name half worn under the green that’s gathered here

this bench sunned in love and rained in fear

and always facing outwards to the sea

because he loved it here

and I can see him striding out

in wellies, always, coat in winter,

hat in summer – got to protect

that bald patch from the rays,

and the dog that never came the first time

because there are too many smells here –

shit and creatures and the nasal semaphore

of other dogs that come and go –

and then him sitting in this spot,

unscrewing the flask,

taking a deep breath, a lung-clearer,

and always facing out towards the sea.

Just a quick stream of consciousness for Misky, who inspires with a twiglet.

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Washed clean – poem for dVerse

Somehow I became
obsessed
entranced
by water – the smooth
laminar flow
the turbulence
the tidal rise and fall
of the river

because this is estuarine country

and the soft sound
of the stream
after rain

and the surge
and fall
rise and drop
movement
constant lift and lowering
of the sea
the green grey blue
of the ocean
the white topped waves

and the gull flying

and the movement
of water

washes me clean

as if the water in me
sings to the water in the world
moves with its movement
echoes its rise and fall
and laminar flow

and the rain is me
and the stream is me
and the river is me
and the ocean is me

and I am them
washed clean.

Linda is hosting at dVerse tonight. She asks how we purify our minds – very apt for the times we’re living through.

We go to the sea – lai nouveau for dVerse

We go to the sea,
find a place to breathe
and sigh;
somehow we believe
each wave sets us free –
we fly –
everything we see
adds strength to this creed.

From the world we flee,
you are next to me,
you’re my
love, my apple tree,
oh, you nourish me,
and I
find a place to breathe:
we go to the sea.

This is a Lai Nouveau, for this month’s Form for All prompt for dVerse. I have to say, I’m finding this the hardest form so far. It’s so small, so structured, so rhyme-y. It’s hard to say anything that isn’t a cliche. Apparently the English language has a shortage of rhymes – Italian is much easier to rhyme in. That’s my excuse, anyway.

Sea craving – villanelle III for dVerse

Some of us live knowing we may drown,
yet something in us cannot keep away:
we’re still in thrall to the sea’s wild sound.

We walk a tightrope. Risk is all around,
we know fear, but we cannot feel afraid –
some of us live knowing we may drown

at the world’s edge, where the dark waves pound.
As the last light fades into soft grey,
we’re still in thrall to the sea’s wild sound.

Days when the sand is sugar brown,
and the lace-edged wavelets sweetly play,
some of us live, knowing we may drown

and when the storm is raging all around
and waves crash in and roll and roar away,
we’re still in thrall to the sea’s wild sound.

You’ll know us. We are restless in the town.
We itch to leave, take the sea-road away –
some of us live knowing we may drown,
yet still in thrall to the sea’s wild sound.

Oh, but I love a villanelle. This is my third for dVerse, where it’s our “form for all” this month.

After the storm – a poem for dVerse

My head is full of the roar of the rolling waves:
The air is full of water, all hazed with mist,
And my lungs are full of salt air and I crave
The sea, all laced with foam, with pale spindrift

The air is full of water, all hazed with mist,
The storm is gentling now along the shore,
The sea is laced with foam, with pale spindrift,
And each wave curls like a grey cat’s paw

The storm is gentling now along the shore,
The sky is white, there is no sun today,
While each wave curls like a grey cat’s paw,
The sea is blank-faced, dull, somehow opaque

The sky is white, there is no sun today,
It’s hard to say just where the ocean ends,
The sea is blank-faced, dull, somehow opaque
And all the light is pale, and cloud-softened

It’s hard to say just where the ocean ends
In the wild bleakness of the empty strand,
And all the light is pale, and cloud-softened
above the sea’s wild anger and the silent sand

In the wild bleakness of the empty strand
See the sharp- winged flight of a black-headed gull
above the sea’s wild anger, and the silent sand,
the shrill cry of the petrel, wheeling, heart full

see the sharp winged flight of a black headed gull –
my lungs are full of salt air, and I crave
the shrill cry of the petrel, wheeling, heart full –
my head is full of the roar of the rolling waves

 

Jilly inspires us to use repetition in our poetry tonight. I have a slight obsession with the pantoum – it’s such a tricky form to get to flow smoothly. So that – obviously – is what we’ve ended up with tonight.

Abyss

days like this, when we take the time
to lie and gaze into the blue abyss
as if we could tumble headlong
head over heels
from the close cropped turf
up up up
through the bright spangling
of the skylark’s song,
high high high
over the rolling surf
and the distant rumble of it,
and the mist it makes
that catches light
and shatters rainbows,
into that great arching blueness –
these are the days I yearn for
when I yearn for summer

 

A bit sunnier today, though it was another darkish quotation for Jilly’s month long exploration of Unreason. 

“So I sit on the edge, wagging my feet above the abyss”

Jim Harrison, from Bridge/Dead Man’s Float.

Flexing verbs – for dVerse

Sea sky

The sea anticipates me
as if my body, the touch
of my skin, will be the thing
that wakes it. It embraces me
slowly, taking it step by step,
so that I am gentled,
subdued by the water,
subduing in return.

Today, the sky
reflects the sea,
and I dive and swim
through fine white clouds,
fly through white crescent
waves, and the air
holds me, and the water
flows over me,

until there is a melding,
sea, cloud, sky, wave,
all one, all part of me,
me part of them,

and in my eyes
you will still see
the sea reflected.

 

This is for Kim at dVerse, who asks us to play with unexpected verbs. My time at dVerse has taught me that no verb is unexpected, but I’ve done my best…

Peppercombe – quadrille for dVerse.

We picked our way down
to Peppercombe bay,
where the cliffs are paprika
and the grey stones wait
quietly, to be ground by the surf;
through the green hush of trees
to the place where there’s only
the wide sky and the salt sea.

Kim is our  host at dVerse tonight. The prompt word is “pepper”. Peppercombe bay is one of our local beaches. You can find an image of it here.  We didn’t go to Peppercombe this evening, but we were just a little way up the coast – and there were peppercorns garnishing my gin and tonic, so there’s obviously something in the air tonight.  

DIY building – for dVerse.

Beach house

We made a shelter on the beach that day –
do you remember? We walked the shoreline,
gathering driftwood, sea-smoothed, set it
just so, here and not there, building
our sea-shack. The undulations
of the wood let in the bleached
ocean light, and the shadows were knife cut.

Your gannet eyes peered through the cracks.

We sat, backs to the dunes, watching the sea,
the waves forming and folding. We ate yellow cake,
drank hot sweet coffee, warmed our cold hands,

until the tide turned, and the sea came in,
and we wound our way homeward through the dunes,

leaving our shelter for the waves to play with.

Sara McNulty has painted the bar purple, and is looking for poems about our dream homes. This isn’t quite that, but there may be something else later, so it will have to do for now. DVerse, always lives up to its name. Check it out.