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At Sea

 

“My father’s house has many rooms…”

Well, mine has few, but they all echo with him,

In an endless cycle of lost expectation.

Everything here is soaked in it;

Every scent, every sound, every speck of dust.

And I, still listening in the dark

for the distant ebb and flow of his breathing,

Lie shipwrecked by the the wash of the waves,

Caught in the tides called by the gravity of his loss,

The massive pull of the place where he used to be,

Endlessly empty, endlessly filled with his absence.

Everywhere here is full of him.

Everywhere here is where he used to be.

Everywhere echoes with the lost whispers

Of one last story, before I sleep.

Autumn

I wrote this, sat in the back of the car driving down the A55 on the way into Wales. It’s a lovely journey, often alongside great vistas of land and sea, and it will always make me happy.

I suppose this is a prose poem, or a freeform poem, or something… I find things often dictate their own form, sometimes against my designs or better judgement. I think it indicates that they are whole and complete and ready to be let out into the world, when I realise they are nothing like what I set out to write.

 

 

 

 

I love the Autumn, and the all day dusk it brings; the cold, silver light making every lit window spill liquid gold, gently wistful yet softly warm, welcoming you home again. The velvet depths of mauve and violet shadows, so much softer now than the technicolour bright, bold brilliance of Summer.

I love the smell of ice on the air, the wind that bites, the subtly encroaching closeness of blanket-clouded grey skies. I love the shattered cracks of bare branches on the horizon, the blown and blustered birds, even that vague melancholic ennui that permeates everything and settles gently across the expanse of your soul like a dusting of frost, like a cool hand on your forehead.

But most of all, I love the sea in Autumn. Its colours, its smells, its moods. The unspoken threat of a bitter cold so deep, so powerful as to be beyond mere human reason and rationale. The whispered promise of a swift, smooth, all-engulfing peace, ready to enfold you and cradle you in a dark so profound it has become much more than the absence of light. Waiting, as it always has been, beckoning, reaching, calling to you in the soft susurration of the waves’ caressing touch across the shore. Sweeping your mind clear and clean. Soothing, slowing, gently stilling your thoughts until your bones become connected to the bones of the land that lie beneath the sand, beneath your feet; bones no longer articulated but calcified, sinews run through with seams of ancient quartz, blood become viscous as the sea now seems, and surely, you have always been here, in this place, in this moment?

The lights fades and flows and slowly slips away, draining from the darkening sky until there is only you, wrapped in twilight, still as stone, lost in one long, limnal note that stretches out before you like eternity, washing over you from the horizon and back again to the ephemeral edge of the waves. Beckoning, reaching then retreating, calling with the wicked beauty of a siren’s song. A beauty so sharp you swear it could cut like a razor, honed by millennia of tides.

And behind it all, waiting with an ageless, ancient, infinite patience, the whisper of Winter on the wind.

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