Here is a poem I was asked to write for the birth of my nephew. It wouldn’t have got written if I hadn’t been asked, which makes it feel something of a surrogate (ironically). But that is not the point. The point is to make something selfless, objective to the author but subjective to the ‘patron’, as it were. I’m not sure I was able to remove myself enough. But fuck it. It’s not for me. It’s for Colm.

The Sea Gives
 For Colm

All winter I walked right to the edge of the bluff.
For all the wind, I was surefooted. I knew how to be there.
I took stock of the waves, how they tore themselves up
And then sewed themselves up, how they crouched and pounced like snow-cats.

I watched them pass, threshold after threshold after threshold.
I waited, but never once a door. One day I swam out. I wanted
Desperately to see in, but the surf was like a long, white blindfold
And I was left to imagine: were there auroras of kelp? Constellations of sea soot?

At last, I took a tugboat, an old thing, like an oil lamp tipped on its side.
I let the water rise and set bread-like beneath me. I drifted off
Until I was lost. And then from the bluff the lighthouse, clear-eyed,
Took me in. I understood its language. Enough, it said. Come home.

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2 Responses to

  1. Lejla Balorda says:

    Hi David,

    Thank you so much for sharing with me such a wonderful poem. I am so sorry that my English is not good enough to express my feelings but my understanding is much better. It is amazing, encouraging and soothing that the real poetry is still alive.

    Kind regards, Lejla

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