Shadows on foam


here we are who we are
shadows on foam
littoral lateral between the sea
and feathery reality

skidding and sliding
here not here nor there
dots in a layer
of water on sand

maybe a simile
no, this is literal
us as the foam
in the shade on the sea

Rachel McAlpine

Who am I? Who are you? How do you know? Sometimes I lose myself in a strange space, and I enjoy those moments of anonymity. Do you? The poem (like many on this blog) is a first draft and will no doubt change and change again: in this case, so appropriately.

Poem and photo cc by 2.00 Rachel McAlpine as usual—i.e. feel free to share. 

Thirteen Waves: i.



Sunlight throbbing among the yachts;
moonlight oozing.
Waltz of a green-lipped wizard,
hunch of a black-backed gull.
Sun makes punctual explosions
inside the meat of the heart.

Poem and reading by Rachel McAlpine CC BY 2.0, photo of pingao grass by Tomas Sobek CC BY 2.0.

This is the first poem in a sequence, Thirteen Waves, written when I was living in a flimsy little holiday bach (a simple holiday cottage) right beside the harbour of New Plymouth… almost in the harbour, or so it seemed. Day and night had a wholeness, a continuity, and clocks were irrelevant. The poems comprise one big love poem to the land, sea, and coastline of Taranaki. The glorious photographs accompanying them on this blog are by various photographers who have made their work available through Creative Commons licensing — thank you all!

Thirteen Waves was published by Homeprint in 1986 in a limited edition of 100. Handprinted and handbound by John and Allison Brebner, with linocuts by Michael Smither.