Nocturne

Robert James Berry



This land describes a long sand curve
Towards eternity.

Coast, that waves have thought over
And wiped clean,
Where no one walks
Save a seldom, strenuous seabird.

Look inland. That world is a pool of ink.
On the nocturnal shoulders of the world,
Black firs observe an everlasting silence.

Safer is our fishing town that clings to the shore,
like a young marsupial to its mother.

>From the green beacon that is the harbour light,
A shag is hanging two pterodactyl wings to dry,
Grey sentry, dishevelled seafarer,
Watching the night drop anchor.

Away on the seaboard
Squid boats burn like vesper candles,
Gone to fish a wide school of stars,

Sailing the telescope of a sea-
captain sharp as a skerry,
Stood at the bow windows of the retired sailors' home,

A poet who plays with creation
As he paints the ocean indigo,
Building the dark like a cairn.


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