into the barrels of
and the next tomorrow.
There the shored shells
break with tomorrow,
and another tomorrow dashed
to granules that lip the tideline.
Salted foam seeps this watermark
and in the kelp-laurels sandhoppers dance.
While paging through the anthology of Chinese poems on my bookshelf, I came across a nostalgic poem in which the poet embarks on a journey in his imagination and progresses to reminisce about his favourite landscapes. (The poem was Su Tong-P’o’s Inscribed on a Painting in Wang Ting-Kuo’s Collection Entitled “Misty River and Crowded Peaks”)
He ends the poem,
Returning to your painting, I’m taken by sighs of sad wonder. I have old friends in those mountains, and their poems keep calling me home.(p. 381)
I loved this image of his friends’ poems calling the poet/speaker home. This was the starting point for my poem. Who would I call home with my poetry, if I could?
There is a crescent of beach to which my melancholy imagination often turns. This fragment of strand is in Betty’s Bay, one of my favourite spots in the world. It is in this place that my call home is set.
Su Tong-P’o’s poem is in Classical Chinese Poetry: An Anthology, translated and edited by David Hinton (Farrar, Straus and Giroux: New York, 2008), pp. 380-381.
In the Ocean: a year of poetry
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness: Selected Poems, 1999 – 2012