These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.
20 September 2009
Pottsville Beach, Late Afternoon
Write a poem that is set at or near where you live.
The shoreline is utterly altered after the storms
but summer is coming, we can get to the beach again.
Someone has partly restored the path that became a cliff
easing it into a soft hill of sand we can trudge down and up.
Others are here already, walking or fishing.
The waves come in now in opposing directions
turning on each other like the edge of half a whirlpool.
The shallows are all uneven; in places huge licks extend
reaching nearly to the foot of the cliff, in far beyond the rest.
This is a sea I don’t want to turn my back on.
But I do while I fossick for stones in the slush:
interesting shapes, beautiful colours, satisfying textures.
Here is a comma and here a heart. Some are marked with crosses
others circled by raised, contrasting rings. One is a pearl, translucent white,
others are black and smooth, shining like onyx.
Then everyone stops. We all stand still and gaze.
I’d heard two days ago there were whales about, seen
from the headland at Hastings Point, and now they are here
disporting themselves in leisurely ease, back behind the breakers,
cresting and diving, leaping and plunging.
A glimpse of graceful tail, a curving fin or a snout,
a sudden spume of white, a burst of foam. A silver glint
from the underside of a fin caught by the sun. And the sky vast,
pastel blue with long white feathery stripes of cloud stretching across.
The ocean sparkled, seeming to sing.