From one side of the pool
to the other,
pacific waves cursive;
held by rocks hard-backed in blue.
A visiting squid squirts ink
fresh and black.
A pseudomorph arrows from the nib.
For Christmas ‘Secret Santa’ gave me a dinky, frosted pink fountain pen. It’s small; probably about 8cm in length. Its micro-cartridges only last about a dozen A4 pages, which spans two to three days of writing in my world. The half-a-dozen cartridges that came with the pen were used up long ago. I have been without ink for nearly six months, so today I decided to re-stock.
For £1,99 I bought a bag of 50 cartridges from Ryman’s on the Strand. This is the first poem from that bag of ink-filled plastic bullets now sitting on my desk.
I often write to capture moments that I have experienced in solitude. Consider for example the afternoon that produced this poem, “On a rock amongst rocks“. I had walked out beyond the beach of white sand to the rocky inlet beyond the seafront houses, the fishermen and the dog owners. Each day I used this landmark as the half-way point measure of each afternoon’s walk. That day I climbed onto the rocks.
These rocks are the jagged kind. If you walk across them barefoot, a delicate tread will still not circumvent the occasional stab to your sole. The sky was grey. Into the tide-carved chasms between the rocks dashed the waves. As the wave foam tossed against the jagged rocks, a further alchemy transpired. I would not have noticed the elemental magic had I not stood on that spot in stillness.
As the sea spray dispersed, it caught the light. On the rocks, bordered by the sea, encased in this salty mist, I stood within an orbit of tiny rainbows.
When the last rays fire
after which all will be still and ashed
Here, on this rock I wish to stand
to see the end of time.
From here you face due South;
face the end of the world, but
between you and then blue-grey barrels roll
toward the shore where
rocks cut the spring tide foam
into a thousand fragment sprays;
rainbows caught because
I have watched today.
The above poem was worked from the following notes, taken in early 2012 while I was enjoying the sanctity of Betty’s Bay. Betty’s, as it is affectionately known, is a small holiday town on South Africa’s southern coastline:
Today I stood on a rock amongst rocks worn flat by time and watched the spring tide. The powerful blue-grey sea rolled towards the shore and crashed against the sharper rocks ahead. The white foam sprayed a thousand fragments into the air and at that angle the sun caught the water droplets in perfect rainbows. Here, on this beach, I wish to see the end of time.