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Sea Calligraphy

Alison Bielski

the edge of sea marks the threshold of words

tide ripples explore dry sand-grains

foam writes capitals over stone


creates calligraphic seaweed

with ever-changing loops and scrolls

water fills cavities blocking hollows


so I salvage letters arranging them

into my pattern aligning

consonants with wind-blown vowels


to make full phrases. how deficient is

ruled paper, its mill-made smoothness

and bleached silence mock living forms


that rush and slither off salt rocks

now tracing glistening down-strokes

I meet these lines, feel my inadequate


pen struggling to summon sea images

only my regular breathing

brings life to this tidal poem

From Poetry Wales, Vol. 17 no.4, Spring 1982