Of broken salt and dangerous reason,
the rising of this solitary ocean.
The water turns without end,
shaking away its roots like a seabird
rising from its crystal dream.
Here in the stillness
there is no other night-voice
but the ocean's own, and the tremble
of its hollow refuge.

Shattered, the wind
conjures up its arena of touch,
hunger of ages, trowelled solitude,
the empty mouth of darkness
closing above the waters,
branched current and remembrance
shored across the granite
like unburied thunder,
or the vague straying of the sea-trace
as it lingers higher and higher
across the sands.

Not the last wave breaking
across the rimless swirl,
not lightning or the tattered steps
of the risen air,
or the current's struggle,
the cross-tide torn from surrender
like a throat held at risk.

Harbor of destructions,
phosphorescent crater,
it is what is not there that touches
the silence like a tenderness,
the meaning taken and given back
with each surge, the wave fervor,
the stream, the shadow thrown
across the furthest arc,
the splintered rib of wood
swept out and back with the tide,
held tight in hand
without recollection.

Night fingers the memory of years
carried away by the stream,
the searching hunger bent
and desperate as a thief.
Surrounded by solitude and sky,
the sudden rush stills
into a trembling expectation,
like the stillness of feathers
dipped toward the shore.
Patient and unmoving,
the ocean draws into itself
the cliffside's sullen treachery,
with each unhurried heave
unravelling the island's hem.

One wave, one ocean,
rimmed between shadow and space,
a ferment of sky carved out across
each continent and rising shelf,
a tremor caught in the slow width
of this planet's orbit,
stonecutter of desire,
torn of all silences,
now lost, now found,
rising and falling
like a caught-up spar,
the secret hidden deep
in the coral heart.

River by river the earth
empties into its desolation,
borne away by the one ocean
which has no other shore.


  1. Wow, I enjoyed reading this piece. It has an urgency and speed with the words roiling and tumbling like waves and swirling wind.

  2. I write first for myself, so it's hard to tell when a poem will resonate with readers. I'm glad this one did with you.

  3. I love the ocean, it's where I draw my strength. "the secret hidden deep in the coral heart" I loved it...:)

  4. I love the way the tempo changes. The last three stanzas are especially strong. The poem for me really picked up speed there, until the last one which like an exhale. Nice.

  5. Fantastic tempo, each line building on the previous, so that when you reach the last line you immediately want to return to the first and climb again.


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