Grey-white, surreal, fantastic,
Light as cotton,
They scud, half-hearted, across the sky,
More intent on hiding the Sun
Than roving eastwards,
They deny its warmth
Breaking at their radiant edge
To shear into smaller and smaller fragments,
Seeming to rotate,
Yet in layers stacked,
Round and slowly round
Evaporating, trailing, tearing
Until even the very wisps
Disappear to leave…
Nothing but azure…
And the Sun’s disc,
As pure bright,
Unforgiving as before,
We watch, full prone,
Our heads nesting on the ling
As the clouds,
Their load of tears…
And cry freely on the fragile land…
Before moving off…
And out to sea.
Whatever happens, we must wait; however long, however late, the plane sits on the tarmac wet, its engines silent, poor lifeless jet.
The passengers unsettled, many reading, some standing, others still asleep, they snore.
We wait on, hardly better than sheep, not knowing how to act, nor where to go…
The pilot occasionally breaks radio silence to cheer us up… but the messages get worse, the tone more abject….
First the fuel switch, then the fuel line, now the fuel pump too!
Our patience is tested.
We desire change, yet little changes.
No sign of flight.
Even the baby in the seat in front, his parents proud and determined, has finally sensed the futility… of screaming.
The rain like soothing balm strokes the aircraft’s cold, metallic skin, to trickle down in virtual tears.
The scene outside viewed from square portholes seems detached, grey, half worldly…
Trucks scurry between planes in slackening pace; they seem always to avoid us… as if they know the hopelessness of our plight.
We continue to move in time, although not in space.
I love you…because you love the sea, as I do. You love its bottle-green turbulence, unwillingness to conform to our expectations, recklessness and energy, its hidden, secret depths.
I love the white horses urging the surge inshore, the brilliant morning light glinting on the surface far out, the Moon’s reflection shining ever more – as it is wont to do – when the nocturnal waters and clouds allow…
The smell of wrack and shellfish served up on the beach – as tokens, stranded along its irregular, sandy length, mere remnants of its desire and wasted strength.
And most of all, the sea breeze, – the wind that blows soft from its most distant reaches.
I feel those soothing caresses in my hair, as with your fingers on a sunny day in June; its gentle breath on my exposed neck, so bare.
All this I love…as with you…as we ply the wooden deck of the pier, or dip our feet into the cold, stinging surf…to stare towards the horizon – to a promised land where yet there is no land.
To hold you tight, so tight, as if at the straining helm, whilst listening to the seagull’s raucous cry.
And we are at one…you and it…and I...
For love of the sea…
The swell that now flows vigorously with a proven passion…and power to overwhelm.