#52weeksofnaturepoetry, Poetry

#52weeksofnaturepoetry Week 18 – The Sea and its Tears

It’s hard to accurately describe the tugging rustle

of the tide dragging pebbles back

into its depths,

reaching with foamy fingers

that half-make you want to grip them and be carried away yourself.

Not quite shattering glass,

not quite a handful of cascading shells.

It’s distinctive, a cry of longing to stay

yet needing to go.

Indeed, it leaves tears behind,

transforming rocky crevices into miniature worlds.

Famous occupants include the armoured side-walkers.

Hunkered down, it’s easy to miss them;

their backs blend well with the stage.

Upset one with clumsy feet or hands, however, and you’ll know.

Then we have those with softer bodies, who like to switch things up by probing vacant shells,

bottle caps, concave pieces of this and that –

property surveying, we’d call it.

As for compulsive scavengers,

the prawns never seem to tire of that line of work,

skilfully avoiding the numbing flowers shaking their tassels

for a chance of collecting organic debris to feast on.

And all of them waiting, waiting,

to again be blanketed by the sea.

This poem is part of a project I’m doing to raise money for the RSPB, a UK wildlife conservation and protection charity. Being autistic, nature is often my only place of solace, and I want to do all I can to protect it. As I’m not very comfortable around other people, most of the standard ways of helping out (volunteering, ‘traditional’ fundraisers etc.) were not a good fit for me, so I came up with #52weeksofnaturepoetry, where I have to post a nature poem here on this blog each week for an entire year without fail.

If you’d like to help, please share this poem to encourage others to take joy in nature, and if you have the time and means to donate, you can do so here. Let’s help keep our wildlife wild!

#52weeksofnaturepoetry, Poetry

#52weeksofnaturepoetry Week 2 – Rambling along the cliffs

Our boots squelch, balance entirely dependent on

flapping arms and the promise of bird song up ahead.

Through the foliage below, silver and lapis

can be glimpsed.

Tide slapping the cliffs, spraying salty blisters.

They pop

just as the mud bubbles under us do.

Talons hover at eyeline; the huntress studies,

carefully, carefully. Dives.

Our attention is caught by

a rustling in the undergrowth

before we spot her ascent.

Beaked or whiskered, the noisemaker eludes our curious eyes.

Disappointed, we take

another step

and land in the view beyond:

green-gold-red and brown, flecked with neon lichen.

I whistle, attempting to mimic the motley of calls and responses

flitting from branch to branch.

Perhaps I can even entice the wind to tell me its secrets.

The trees join in, adding their groans and grumbles.

Great-grandparents chortling at mere youngsters.

This poem is part of my #52weeksofnaturepoetry project to raise funds for UK wildlife charity RSPB and to encourage an appreciation for nature. If you enjoyed it, please consider sharing/reblogging and/or donating to the RSPB via my Just Giving page here.

Help keep wildlife wild.

Poetry

Thoughts from a shipwreck

Ocean life ignores the iron

desperately holding onto its skeleton, only knowing

another part of bed where prey can hide and predators seek.

Motes of debris sink to the port hole, or where it used to be

before rot came and the coral took root.

The ghosts don’t mind, the deep is quiet

and the pressure a comfort. Here they can rest

far better than their kin in the ground,

away from the irritating buzz of fear.

Poetry

Pebbles

The stones are cool against my skin as the tide draws away

to leave them raw. Skitter, the drag comes.

It tries to take me with it, but I am planted firm,

my hair rooting into the shore.

I am solid, I am grounded, breathing a concept

I no longer need. The salt in my tears

from eons of watching sunsets and rises

crystalises into my imprint. I’ll remain for eternity,

even if I join the sand.

Poetry

Single Use

The world is full of it,

those thin translucent panes that cover everything:

good enough only once.

Shielding tea bags, bagging berries, covering loaves, holding fancy water.

Filming every moment.

Wrapping everything individually.

Like fish, sea turtles, the bellies of gulls and whales and sharks.

Gathering in beaches replacing the sand, floating majestically beside jellyfish

in a competition the sea will never win.

The sea will never win

unless we step up and stand beside it,

on the same side, not the opposing team.

Tearing down the bergs of pollutants

to help raise the ship,

not sink it.

If we can unwrap our minds,

we can unwrap the world,

let it breathe, expand its lungs

and gulp the air, safe in the knowledge

it will no-longer choke.

Hold our your hand,

hold out your heart,

if those wanting glinting gold

refuse to look,

wrap them up instead.

Poetry

Salt Crystals

I balance on the edge, my little boat bobbing along

above sunken wrecks with bottles still clutched in their hands.

The ocean spray on my cheeks is stale

and tastes like tears that have frozen on my face,

for all the world to see.

I could hide them with a mask, but all the ones I’ve tried before melted.

I shall keep following the water

and see where it washes my boat ashore.

Poetry

Seafoam

The sea is a bath of minds and instinct,

of pressure and freedom and danger.

Tide in or tide out, if you stand and stare at it long enough

it will tug you away, molecule by molecule

until sea foam is all that you are.

But sea foam is what merpeople are birthed from,

and giant manta rays will guide you

as you spread yourself out to touch hands

with everything that has ever passed by.

Poetry

A tide of turning

The ink spills onto the page and becomes a river.

Tributaries branch out across several notepads,

soaking through outlines and spider diagrams,

manuscript versions one, two, three, four

final. Final Final. Final Final point one…

The river becomes so large it leaks into the ocean,

where a single bound volume

labelled DICTIONARY

floats to the top, raising its head

like a whale, defined on page 1894.