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The Tide that Passes By

06 Jan

when the ducks squawked up the creek
I slid into where they’d hid,
I saw things of which I should not speak
and I may be cursed because I did

the mangroves hid the evergreen
stunted and twisted brush
that none but I have ever seen
and I found terror in the hush

the cormorant nest, the dragon’s burrow
the wash of the tide
the wash of sorrow
the mud and the filth where the darters hide

and I heard of the cormorant’s neck
of the armoured hall of the lizard
and I heard of the turtle’s ocean trek
and the fish’s thought in the sea bird’s gizzard

as I gazed on the hidden place
and the light came horizontal
and I saw Old Nature’s face
that was lit by sun full frontal

a fiery light, an orange light
a sunset light that faded soon
into a youthful, lovely night
in the silvery light of the high half moon

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2 Comments

Posted by on 6 January, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

2 responses to “The Tide that Passes By

  1. John Stevens

    24 January, 2014 at 1:38 am

    My word that’s good stuff!
    So atmospheric – both beautiful and chilling at the same time as we see the changing light at dusk over the water and the brush but feel the terror that must be ever-present to the many creatures that are prey to something else. You’ve really caught it John.
    The rhythm is very intense – it sort of stalks the reader, relentlessly; perhaps the absence of full stops and almost total absence of commas helps in that.
    There are strong images; there are telling details and observations (e.g. that stanza “I heard of the cormorant’s neck” etc – perfect!).
    The poem is so good I feel tempted to nitpick at one point, if you don’t mind (please see this as a compliment from someone who wishes he could have written these lines himself): at the end, “lovely” night seems a bit weak or superfluous and “silvery” light a bit conventional. I wonder whether you could be persuaded to revisit those two lines?
    I’m sorry I missed the poem when you first posted it but I’m certainly glad I found it now – I just felt I hadn’t seen anything from you recently and checked your site. All the best and happy new year.

     
  2. Thomas Davis

    18 February, 2014 at 7:36 am

    This is absolutely delightful. I came here through John Steven’s blog and am happy I did. The lilt of the lines combined with the secrets you heard
    …of the cormorant’s neck
    of the armoured hall of the lizard
    and I heard of the turtle’s ocean trek
    and the fish’s thought in the sea bird’s gizzard…”
    dance
    “into a youthful, lovely night
    in the silvery light of the high half moon.”
    Hearing a fish’s thoughts inside a sea bird’s gizzard must have been a unique experience indeed!

     

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