Dissertation Update // Kayak // Beloved

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this, so here are two poems – the first is a few months old, and the second a few minutes. I’m about to start work on a poetry dissertation (a short selection of poems with a critical essay) based around ideas on the relationship between poetry/people and landscape, and how it’s changed in the last couple of decades.

Beloved

Not dead, as such; she was no longer here,
gone on, departed, headed up and out
to the blue yonder, or perhaps some heaven where
she would wear wings and dance with her mother –
he didn’t know, except it still seemed right
to bring flowers and talk solemnly
to the ground, to her – the nearness
still meant something, as it always had,
the nearness they’d shared for forty years of nights,
days tucked into her sleeve like discarded tissues.
And flowers seemed right. Perhaps the scent
would lift upwards to her star, or pearly seat,
and she’d stir, send the message he so wanted –
although her silence now was like her,
the solidness of her presence living
through forty years of silence.

Kayak

Knee-deep, I tack
boots to the kayak’s straps
and wade,

barefoot,
spread skinny feet
taut to the skim floor

tack my weight against the pebbles shifting.
I’ve given stable ground
before –

given it to drunkenness,
easy tides I’ve pulled and called
for fun –

made ground for myself
in strange places,
stone-picked pebble beaches

for the kayak’s soft belly.
Now knee-under and still
I go on walking

waiting for a catch,
the water’s nod of permission,
blessed with the salt

drying on my arms,
my cheeks, my hair,
all tease

the salt says you cannot grip
the ocean
the boat lurches forward

says now