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Across The Ocean: Tanka

ACROSS THE OCEAN

“Am I coherent?”
You asked … I made a meaning
Out of what you said
Hopefully it is the one
You had in mind … But who knows?

Poems Lead Poets

POEMS LEAD POETS

This poem as emerged is actually
far more bitter and anguished
than its writer. Or far less …
What the hell. Let’s let it go;
it’s just the way it grew.

The initial germ here sprouted out
from a piece of Sarah’s weeks ago
that somehow caught my interest.
I’d have trouble locating it now;
it’s transmorphed completely.

Laboured at it for hours; it wouldn’t let go.
Clearly it’s determined to have its say.
As for you, happening by readers
looking out for an explanation
dream on, friends, dream on.

Limbo II

LIMBO II

Swing ‘twixt hope and fear
Unending uncertainty
Our sole companion
Sweating like limbo dancers
Watching the lowering pole

Forever Forever Forever

FOREVER FOREVER FOREVER

What time is it?
What time is it again?
Is it time yet?

What time is it?
What time is it again?
Is it time yet?

What time is it?
What time is it again?
Is it time yet?

Shore Thing

SHORE THING

Wary of recklessness
In thrall to fear of risk

Unwilling to abandon
The certainty of shore

Unsure of uncertainty
One will not travel far

That is the one thing
One may be sure of

The Get-together

THE GET-TOGETHER

Meet your family.
Here is your brother Andyet;
Your sister Maybe.
Your cousin Alltheanswers’s
Not here yet. Her plane’s delayed.

Dover Beach

DOVER BEACH – Matthew Arnold (Published 1867)

The sea is calm tonight.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Ægean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

DOVER BEACH – The Fugs (Released 1967)

Runes

RUNES

This wintry scenescape
Darkness and lightness abound
As for tommorow
Spring, summer, autumn for sure
As for their contents who knows?

Dunnow’s Recompense

DUNNOW’S RECOMPENSE

To find strength and comfort in uncertainty
Is the reward for an earnest searching
Beyond the generally agreed upon
And thenceforth universally decreed

Questionable Surroundings

QUESTIONABLE SURROUNDINGS

I wonder
Or at least at times
Do I live
In some hell
That I myself have dreamed up?
Shall I ever know?

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