Harry Owen on turning tides

Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin

Now the tide pours in, surf high
on the beach, a panting sea mist
like the tongue of a weary dog.
But no tsunami, no expert
arrogance of plutonium.
No Japan. And yet already
somewhere the story is forming,
a novelist sits and scribbles.
No one truly learns, not really.

Tonight: full moon, a super-moon,
and I’m pulled, my tides are turning,
rolling, slow as a basking whale.
Something stirs, something nuclear.
Here is writing in the sand,
titanium sandscript, black ink
running. It comes, is covered, goes,
eases itself like a ghost
into new meanings. I touch it,
taste its black blood, turn, turn.
Chromatography. Music on
a rotating drum. The writing
on the wall.

*Harry Owen,
formerly of Cheshire, now lives in Grahamstown, South Africa.  His
collections are: Searching for Machynlleth, The Music of Ourselves, Five
Books of Marriage and Non-Dog.  A memorial collection for his father,
Worthy, will be published in March 2011. More details here.

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