The Unmade Sea
I stumble from my unmade bed
To watch the unmade sea
Where mighty swells surge to the beach
And crash and churn, cold fingers reach
To claim the souls of wounded gulls
That limp among the broken hulls
Strewn by the surf-washed quay
Offshore the banshees rage and howl
To whip the spindrift’s scream
The ocean’s blankets toss and tumble
Sheets of foam criss-cross and crumple
Grey-green pillows topped with blue
Heap upon heap of wrack and spume
Poseidon’s fevered dream
Beneath the churning, turbid waters
Below the roiling froth
Deep down where hungry shadows flit
Are silent screams when bodies bit
The crunch of shell and squelch of brains
Leave whispered hopes and scant remains
In silt and muddy broth
So as you drift in restful slumber
Spare a thought for those
Who lie beneath the ceaseless waves,
Know not the peace of earth-bound graves
But roll and rock in fitful sleep
Amid the nightmare of the deep
Their bones to decompose
And when along the sun-washed strand
A wreath of kelp you find
Remember then the maelstrom ferment
And spray and scud and tide and torment
From which the lords of chaos gripped
And tore that stem from rocks they ripped
With hidden lives entwined
A Walk with God
Pamela’s breath formed a vaporous cloud as she stepped into the crisp autumn morning of the Dingle Peninsula. It would, she decided, be a perfect day for a walk with God.
She shrugged on her old waxed cotton coat, grimy from years of such walks. It was clammy and cold on the outside, but the quilted tartan lining was warm and comforting and smelled faintly of her lavender perfume.
Pamela’s feet were snug in multi-coloured woollen socks, but one big toe was making a bid for freedom she noticed, as she thrust her feet into muddy green wellies. That would mean more darning beside the fire later on, and a struggle to clip her thick yellow toenails, which were more difficult to reach with each passing year.
She must get going. God was impatient with her and she had a lot she wanted to tell him on the way. It was a ritual that had become important, unburdening her heart amidst the dunes, her warm words whisked away on the sea breeze. God was with her always, of course, but somehow, the fresh air and freedom of the sea strand made her thoughts spill out. He was a great listener. She could tell him anything out here, she felt, without being judged.
Soon Pamela was trudging between the marram grass tufts, feet sinking into soft sand as the froth-topped waves came into view. A flock of small birds flitted across the sea, their undersides sparkling like a shoal of silvery fish in the morning sun as they twisted and turned after their zig-zag leader.
Pamela stopped and sat on a tussock, her boots settled in the powdery sand. She called on God to come and sit with her. She liked him close so they could share the magic of the shore, sea and sky quietly together. After a couple of minutes she turned to him with loving eyes and ruffled his ears. He cocked one eyebrow expectantly and tilted his head.
“Come on now, God,” she said. “Let’s be gettin’ home for our breakfast.” He responded with an excited yelp and raced off between the dunes in the direction of their cabin, where a thin wisp of smoke trailed from the chimney.
Pamela smiled, struggled to her feet and set off after him. She didn’t care what other people thought. In this remote corner of western Ireland, she knew that she and God shared a little piece of heaven.
Our Colony on Mother Moon