Wavelengths Part II

The sea
In all its whispers, mutterings
And grand, emphatic outbursts
Had not one word for me.

So I quit the high cliff-path
Slipped off my shoes
And went to meet it:

A tentative diplomacy
On the shifting, lawless border
Where the flow tide sawed steadily at the sand.

I offered it my two feet.
It took another yard of beach
And chopped me off at the ankles.
We chuckled like schoolboys
And nudged each other playfully.

Then it showed me a pair of terns ā€“
Black-capped, delicate as snowflakes, fierce as eagles ā€“
And led me down a cut
Between sandbanks spread with stones
Like seeds on a granary loaf.
Waders took wing,
Their cries pinging from the rocks
In tiny ricochets.

I read the lines the ebb had written
In the silver sand,
Tuned into the wind
And traced the legends in the rocks.

And in the shallows
Way below the high-tide line
We found ourselves
Deep in conversation once again.
Not my close communion
With tree and leaf and soil
But connecting
As cold was turned to freshness
And all that emptiness
To breathing-space.

4 thoughts on “Wavelengths Part II

  1. This is so beautiful, Nick, it takes my breath away. I am so happy I am getting back to poetry on wordpress more than I was able to for awhile. It wakes me up a bit. Your language is magic:

    A tentative diplomacy
    On the shifting, lawless border
    Where the flow tide sawed steadily at the sand.

    Waders took wing,
    Their cries pinging from the rocks
    In tiny ricochets.

    This, and so many other stanzas, is magic stuff.

    I got your sonnets on kindle, by the way. The poetry is magnificent. I wish the appearance of the sonnets was better, but I’m not sure if there is even a solution to that problem. The good news is that the sonnets are readable. I bought one of Thomas Hardy’s books of poetry on Kindle, and the poems were hardly readable. There ought to be a solution to the appearance problem, but I have no idea what it would be.

    The first poem seemed to me to be so classic in its rhythms and thoughts that I thought it was coming from an old anthology that contained the world’s greatest poetry. I’ll try to get some time to write a fuller review this weekend if I end up having any freedom at all.

    I am so thrilled you put the book out there, though. I am yelling hurrah! at the top of my lungs, and if you have ever listened to me read the dragon epic, you probably have an idea of just how loud that can be.

    • Ah Tom. As always, you do my heart good with your wise, generous and joyous comments. I’m glad you liked ‘Wavelengths II’: it feels strange to go back to free verse, and to my surprise I’m not as confident with it as I used to be. Maybe I’ve grown too used to the support structures of metrical verse – ‘working with a safety net’, you might say. All the more reason to write free verse sometimes, I guess! Anyway, I’ll now consider this one a success. Thank you so much.

      And thank you too for buying the e-book: I wish there were a way to sign and dedicate it, and commemorate my first overseas sale in fitting style! I’m humbled, as so often, by your response to my work; as you know, my faith in myself and my writing is quite fragile, so to have a champion like you means the world.

      I’m getting together with my illustrator compadre tomorrow to put the finishing touches to the next e-book: I absolutely love it, and I think you will, too.

      As ever, my friend. N.

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