.A Century Find
High up the beach, sea debris resolved in lines--
brittle black--dry seaweed and ribboned bark. That's
a stretching step.
We've gained the sand.
Footfall hallmarks the sifted acres.
We're goldsmiths of the shifting commonwealth,
brand in bulk.
Outpace the gusts and there's a rock to race to,
exceed. The tide
is lapping away (the force in gentleness):
we're the centre of all murmur--
no ocean can shoosh us.
Slowly, secrets. The confidence to confide . . .
I was, you were . . . I am, you are . . .
In your displaying hand a hard small shell,
offwhite, convincing pure,
drilled the once with a dainty calibre
(incremental parasite or shock-quick beak?)
of a low whistle. Strung on silver,
the central jewel: a century find
to fulfil a necklace.
You throw it--so far out
it's still in your fist.
Rays (Carcanet, 2009)
To purchase directly from the publisher, please click here.