We walked down by the sea today. All night
it had thundered in. The waves rolling from the edge
of the dying cyclone that lurked
somewhere beyond the rim of the world.
Such a white surging crash of surf
the air was filled with spray merging into cloud.
All about us was grey
except for the black rocks lashed near the shore.
I turned my face to the wind
and every inch of exposed skin felt the sting,
the whip of salt and sand
flaying my rawness.
It had been a hard year. And while I stood
relishing the vigour in my body, knowing
the taut strength of my bones,
I heard, again, the creak of the oarlocks,
saw, again, nothing beyond the mist.
The sad cry of a foghorn called me.
I drifted in the night as my rowing slowed
and the old song rose from the sea.
I may as well, I thought, be here as anywhere -
at least there are no bombs falling.
I shipped my oars, stretched out, stared.
The boat gently rocking, the leaping sound of fish.
We walked along the shore today,
I trailing far behind as the others strode out
and embraced the wind. I didn’t mind.
The water is indeed wide, and not always unkind.
27 February 2016