Tuesday poem: Sea

September 24, 2012


It pulls harder than any roping octopus,
Kali’s deep green army of sinuous terror,
bites deeper than haunting white shark,
bloody ghost that gutted brothers before birth.
It throws off surfers, tinnies, yachts and tankers
like a gnarly horse at rodeo, then clowns with us,
pulling down rescuers, spewing out the sodden child.
At stony beaches it applauds itself with each sigh,
the percussive pebbles played by ten thousand hands.
Sometimes, floating, I feel it stroke my back, teasing,
fingering, like a well-schooled lover. It whispers
not yet, I’m not ready, when I’m ready, you’ll go down.

P.S. Cottier

This poem appeared in my first book, The Glass Violin, which can still be ordered from Ginninderra Press. (Go to the ‘About’ page of this blog.)

I am gradually getting back into my routine of coffee and writing, after too many exciting things happening recently. I am on a panel and reading at the Conflux science fiction convention here in Canberra this weekend, speculative poetry being one of my loves. But as this is at the weekend, I don’t see it as breaking my routine.

At heart I am truly a bore. But sometimes a productive one.

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6 Responses to “Tuesday poem: Sea”

  1. Helen Lowe said

    I like the ‘bite’ to the ending, given the preceding lines have ‘lulled’ us into a false sense of security following the poem’s beginning–very true to the sea, of course!

  2. pscottier said

    And my addiction to puns still shines through, Helen…Glad you enjoyed it.

    Of course, we (meaning humanity) are doing our utmost to ruin the seas, but let’s try not to drown in reality.

  3. This is a very original take on the sea! A huge powerful sea.

    ‘At stony beaches it applauds itself with each sigh,
    the percussive pebbles played by ten thousand hands.’ Great lines these 🙂

    • pscottier said

      Thank you Helen! Ironically, I am missing going to the beach this weekend to go to the SF convention here in Canberra which has On the Beach, the Neville Shute novel about the end of the world, as its theme (and apocalypse generally).

      Strange but true.

  4. To use a baseball rather than the more appropriate cricket metaphor, you just keeping hitting them out of the park, Penelope! The menacing/sexy combination of the ending is especially impressive.

    I am keen to hear what you make of the convention – and it of you!

    • pscottier said

      Thank you Tim. A Good Ending is so very important, n’est-ce pas? Though few are as impressive as the whale in the photo.

      Strangely enough (second strangely in these comments, strangely enough) there is always baseball playing at the gym I go to. Always. Very big blokes in weird pants.

      I’m looking forward to the convention: Canberra, weekend, end of the world. It all seems strangely appropriate. (Last use of the ‘s’ word, I promise.)

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