The SAW Challenge, Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts – May 2009
Poetry from the SAW challenge
Curved salt-worn seaglass
Warmed by the sun
Subterranean whispers echoes in molehills
the placement of chaos contrived
Every nettle colonised
A search for the location of conception
motive and meaning denied
Night-lit by the memory of dead stars
equations determined in the sky
And every spiralled pine cone echoes
The fear of uncertainty
The disorder of harmony revealed
by bubble-wrapped larvae and
our need for neat answers
disheartened surprise trudges home
The perfection of talent
A smooth surface glistening
With darkened aspects in recess
Cut away to smash the whole.
These divided elements of self
Entice down corridors of chaos
Yet a hinted suggestion of light,
The static fluidity of movement
Links the holistic and the fragmented
And the resonance of an illusion
Leads us to kneel and worship.
The road curves right and then left
lifting chilli peppers to cheeks
and breaking backs heavy with sweat.
The tears in your eyes don’t cry blue
Anymore, lifted with rain draining
Gravity’s puddles, drowning molehills.
There’s a big question mark in the middle
Dividing high tide from digging clams
And eclipses from oil drills.
There is no playing on the beach on Tuesdays.
No dogs allowed February to May.
Do not build sandcastles where waves
will crash and ripple the sand into riptides.
that will take your children out to sea.
Mine will be saved, Jesus always saved my children.
Kick back the sand that sprays from your feet
like Mercury towards the dunes.
leave your biscuits in picnic baskets
tracing “I love you”s with sticks
deeper into the ground, muddy wet
with chilly waters kinking seaweed,
pulling tides away from Africa.
You stand tip of the triangle waving ships past,
breast’s beacon to sailors crashing ships
into rocks because you can’t shine bright enough.
Luminesecence was never your strong point.
Take care when following the river to the sea,
the broads will moor your teacakes and cream
to deadened abbeys alive with green voices
of praise left to the city dwellers.
And so violets sit with blackening tulips,
Outlining the carriageway with trucks that pass.
You’ve left your fingerprint everywhere you’ve been,
my face, my hand, my lips, the sea.
The beach will swallow you whole.