The Priest

In those last moments I saw
the drowning begin,
and while the calm of the sea
gently rocked and swayed,
recognised the predicament I was in.

As time stood still I watched
the thrashing for air,
as gulls called the landscape,
filling the sky with abstraction
adding to the conflict that now lay there.

In detachment I paused
and thought,
considered how important life to be
as landscape turned into reality
and I saw what we had caught.

But calmly I stood in ceremony
as the priest, by rote,
delivered with precision
the last rights with one swift thud
right there on the boat.


I see a ship




Lifting, as the waves they rise

And fall


A single vessel




Castrated; as the storm begins

To maul


I see the wreck


A frame


Aflame, as the night creeps in

And crawls


I see a ship




Misbegotten; I see it rise

And fall


From Here I Can See The Sea

From here I can see the sea.

The waves lap. Angry. Full of discord. Suffused with venom. All pretence of a blue, quixotic picturesque sea drowned beneath the sheer violence of the dark, foreboding waves that cascade into one another.

I can almost hear them. Separated from me by this window and several hundred yards, yes. But I can almost hear them. They snarl. They growl. They whisper. Their hushed declarations tapping at the window, desperate to enter. Desperate to consume.

The sky above the waves hangs heavy. Impenetrably grey. A scrawled canvas of meteorological misery. Threatening rain. Threatening an uptick in violence. Confident in its ability. Assured, comfortable, in its malevolence.

My eyes refuse to deviate. The sea, the waves, forever holding my attention. The bridge striding across the watery expanse fails to wrestle my gaze, my attention, from the depths. Its beauty, its magnificence nothing more than a brightly-coloured splash on that scrawled canvas. Timid in its idealistic demeanour. False in its promise.

My pen hangs loosely from the frailness of my fingers. The paper beneath sits unsullied. Untroubled. The cursor on the screen in front of me flashes constantly. Never ceasing to remind me of its impotence.

But still I gaze. My thoughts colliding into one another, mirroring the actions of the waves. My mind seemingly connected to their motions, to their behaviour. Pushed and pulled, I imagine myself weightless, at the mercy, at the whim, of the tide. It threatens to release me; allowing me the time, the space, the oxygen to breath. And then, through sheer malice, it draws me back in. A tortuous game of cat and mouse played out under the cover of an all-consuming darkness.

The waves will calm. They will subside. They always do. But the mocking remains. Steadfast. Even at its most calm, at its most serene, the sea continues to mock me. Prodding at my indecision. Scratching at my festering wounds. Even the sun when it finally returns promises nothing more to me than pity. Condescension.

At one time the waves, the sea, in all their and its unbridled, unhinged glory comforted me. It spoke of character, it provided depth. A glimpse into the darkness that so often compliments, and enhances, the continual unremitting light. But not now. Now it strangles. Now it suffocates. Its candid schizophrenia engulfing my mind with doubt, with indecision.

So from here stare out at the waves. Angry at my submission. To their whims. To their ebbs. Their flows. Enraged by my acquiescence.

From here I now hear nothing but silence. From here I can feel the darkness slithering around me.

But from here I resolve to change. To resist. To overcome.

From here I resolve to fight.

No matter how hard it may seem. No matter how hard it will be.

The tide will recede. The waves will subside. Of that I am sure.

They need to. They must.

From here I can see the sea.


Gnarled, sitting lonely at the edge of the beach,
perhaps the old man has nothing left to teach
as we sit and re-hear old stories of how he arrived.
We’ve heard often how he survived
the struggling of the sea
and how, hands knotted, knuckles kneading the sand
he claimed this spot,
living free.
But now he’s unsettled, loose and
with sudden farewell
as the sea with a final unprecedented swell
reclaims our familiar host,
and takes him distant to another coast.