As we stand here,
On the edge of the world,
The wet streets peeling away
From the tiny harbour,
The sea, in a fit of spite,
Swirls and tumbles
Onto the stony shingle,
Rattling the shells
From one bony ridge to another,
Hissing its peevish laughter
At the moonbeams dancing uneasily
Down this stretch of wild water.
Until, in a fury of authority,
The moon calls all to order.
Combing the white frilled water
Into its thin silver fingers,
Braiding light into the aching darkness,
Its own face darkening as it considers
The water’s bold and fierce behaviour.
Now look what’s happened!
The moon has turned her back
On the tiny, frozen harbour,
Battered by the shell hung water,
Smashing foam flowers
Onto the old stone causeway,
Onto our icy, hasty shoulders,
As we run helter-skelter for safety
To a deep and far away doorway.
Now the sly and sliding waters
Try to tumble us off our frozen feet,
Try and pull us into the rolling sea
To be another bony shell in the making.
© Gwen Grant