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Saturday, December 17, 2011


Level with a passing ship
and buried by sky, the flood plain shows
the tide a quivering top lip
of shallow soil between my house

and the soft clay banks I hardly trust.
Drip-fed back to gull and wader,
the fields will go and not be missed,
dry for now but underwater.

Though barn and spire may stand against
the heavens’ downward-plunging level,
here we are captive though unfenced.
Deliver us, Lord, not from evil

but, worse again, the solving blank
of a place where only postmen come,
and save for us when all has sunk
a tremor in the churchyard loam:

no resurrection of the flesh,
but our thin coffins shaken from
their moorings by the tidal wash,
plunging us past all roots and home.

(Sunk Island)

1 comment:

mary o'donnell said...

Failed poem? You must be joking. It's beautiful and intricate and very carefully rendered.