Grandfather Seaweed

Is the tidal law,
For it is ever commanding
And in some ways stronger
Than the day’s diurnal yaw
And opening and closing eye.

Half his time
In soporific muse
And daydream,
With his cheek
Wet to the grey glutin
Of sediments
And the cool sulphur stink
Of mud layered greasy.

There are birds in his daydream;
Seagulls and waders patterning
The slick shiny surfaces
With criss cross footprints.
If only he could raise himself up!
But his body is limp to the rock
And deflated on the mud flat.

But then on the turning tide:
First joy to his lifted toe tips,
In salt water push.
And then to his green weed calves,
And then his body
And his weighty sargasso clothes.

Soon the daydreams seep away
And all is bluegreen oxygen
And the free thoughts
Of kelp
Suspended in the water column.
He is fully awake
When his bladder rack fringe
Lifts from his barnacle face
And shimmers and depicts
The current flow
And the playfulness
Of water’s irregularity.

Now he breathes
His water-lung
Saltwater full,
And is bright in his octopus eye,
Excited in saline energy,
Full as the moon,
Full as Equinox:
His mind
Teaming with ideas
Of fish
And aquatic snails
And colourful sponge
And the jewels of anemones,
And the bright eyed shrimp
And the lobster’s wariness
And the majestic conger eel,
And the multitude nameless
Who peak tentative from beneath:

All of which he collects
With silver brown hands
And algal finger-leaves,
Adhering them
To his stone skin
And the nooks and crevices therein,
Making himself beautiful
And decorative.
The under-garden home,
His living benthic cloak,
Gathered up
And to the underworld
To his legacy
And grandchildren,
In wet plethora
And numerous cold blooded.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015 ‎

And The Mother Said

And the mother said
You can turn on my earth
And in a trice
My children
Will be upon
The glistening clods
To do their colonising
And consoling work.

And you may desert
The plentiful place
And turn it bland
With monoculture,
The flourishing
With chemical
And beings augmented
And superior

All the while
Dashing yourself down.
But I will love you nevertheless.

And you may
Stricken the fertile
And the life giving,
Blemish it,
Injure it
And put it
To dust
And stone

And I will scar
For your learned eye
And then turn beautiful
With rest
And time
Fallow and forgiving.

And you may
Use me
Like your own heart used
And cut me
As your own blood flows
And deny me
As your own
Loneliness is made

In the crucible of your intention
And I will love you still
And whole

And love you
As only the land,
In its richness can

For killing is not mine
My children’s

And as the world turns
I will be
As I have been;

The force
The spirit
The energy

The lick of love
The empty space
The possibility

The lift
Behind it all,

The reason
And creativity

Rolling on, and endlessly on.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015.