lifeboat

I recall one stormy night
racing down
with my father
to watch the lifeboat go out

men shouting
running
giving themselves
to the task of saving others

he had been a sailor
in time of war
I saw the look in his eye
as some memory from the deep
rose to overturn
his quiet night

men shouting
running
giving themselves

he always gave to lifeboats

last night I saw refugees
floating in the water
and thought of him

that look
that night
that lifeboat

all real
these shadows from the deep
enough to make men heroes
enough to make men weep

he always gave to lifeboats

Sea Dreams

In every storm and raging sea
you will find a part of me
that screams at my infirmity.

But with the calm that follows after
comes a voice that quietly whispers,
a cure is coming, a cure is coming:

sea dreams,
to which I listen.

clear out

after the storm the street seemed more alive
as if the trees had finally grasped
what they were all about

the people opposite picked up debris
and swept their drives bare
as I came back here
to whatever it is I do behind these quiet curtains

I had been out on an errand
and froze
in muscle skin and bone

then I remembered when walking had been easy
and ran all the way home
clear out of road

clear out

of road

The Beachcomber

He blamed the wind
and the salt-sea spray,
he blamed the gulls that wailed all day.

He blamed the rain
and the slate grey sky,
breakers breaking on the black cliff side,

He blamed the wall,
the high sea wall,
and every pebble on the shingle shore.

He blamed the storm,
as he watched it break,
and felt the sleeper within him wake.

Then he blamed no more
the quiet shore,
nor gold washed up from the ocean floor.

Words on a page
for his sorrow and pain,
the beachcomber never does walk in vain.