By the sea, alone

This poem was first published in the spring 2013 issue of Burley. The author retains copyright.

The pebbles in sun on shore-side shine, and tell

Their truth as crushed old mountains meeting deeps

That smashed them slowly, aeons ago, without

Any pity or knowledge. Forever they whisper;

Whisper to victims mute, and softly speak

Of mysteries, endless shifting places, so far

From warmth and light that darkness turns grey-green.

Amidst the sways of rigid calcium;

Amidst the empty homes of creatures gone,

This soliloquy between foes so old

That enmity has sunk to sun-dappled smoothness

Which skips out, joyful, from the hand of those

That come to eat their sandwiches and burn –

Until red skin and sun, as one, depart.

If one did wait with sleeping sand, alone,

The tides, awash around their naked feet,

Will sing of others whom did wait the same

And hope to hear the depths elusive

With gentlest breath, murmur – to none but they.

The ocean voice is known to dead and lone

That mutely listen, at the quiet hour.


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