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Saturday, 6 November 2010

Surfing on the Poetry Bus

We were asked this week for poems to do with sea, swimming or bathing. But do take a look and read the challenge for yourself at:  http://networkedblogs.com/9ZSOY

The Surfer

The wave is sexual
is all excitement, power.
You'd wait a lifetime for the one I mean,
as a poet for his masterwork
a lover for the idolized.

The wave is my beloved.

Treading water
like pacing a street corner,
scanning the horizon...
how to spot her in the crowd
to pick her from the endless stream
of waves identical?

If there's a visual sign
I have no word for it.
Not height, weight, speed nor light,
not colour beam nor breadth...

Somehow I'll know.

Far off, I've chosen her.
Move forward. Gain
as much momentum as I can
until I feel her slide beneath me,
speeds synchronized,
her belly lifting mine,
mine perched on hers.

Our tipping points meld into one -
the perfect union.
Adjust my body angle
then feel her surge, stop, sway, dissemble -
or the perturbations come from me,
from my uncertainties.

Does she feel me as I feel her?
The question's not so strange,
she feels the ocean floor,
becomes pure mathematics,
as she always was -
the ratio of length of wave
to depth of sea will break her yet.

Storm-crafted and storm-driven
across a millpond undersea,
she planes its grain towards the shore
and curls up in a perfect circle
one huge shaving from the sea -
the crest on which we ride.

Inshore, the sea bed,
rises through the Zen-like calm,
replaces it. She feels
the drag of sand
and gravel on her underside,
but then again,
the crest is hampered not a jot, flies on.
And thus she leans,
spills forward,
as a runner when he stumbles might,
all balance lost.

The perfect circle is deformed,
stretched out into a long elipse.

There is a magic number to the lean:
at one in seven she holds on;
a fraction more, the wave explodes.
A million shards, and every one
and every molecule, to weave
its fractal from the sun.
For half a second - hardly more -
Eternity's begun.




Guests invited for
"Intimate Shooting Party"
Balmoral - this weekend.

20 comments:

Strummed Words said...

Very sensual and visual. Enjoyed it.

Dick said...

Yes, the sense of the tactile and visual is very strong and powerful in this vivid and evocative piece. Amongst sports, surfing seems to lend itself particularly effectively to artistic celebration, as witness the commitment of an entire sub-genre of rock and roll to it! So why not poetry too. Step aside, Brian Wilson, Van Dyke Parks, Mike Love and co.!

TechnoBabe said...

Intimacy between lovers and nature. This is one of your best. Truly lovely.

Derrick said...

Never knew you were a surfer, Dave! Such vivid and sensual description.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Great final line, I feel very close to it.

There is a novel "Breath" by Tim Winton which explores the core of the same setting and is about surfers.
A powerful, haunting work.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Saucy !

Gwei Mui said...

Powerful, sensual and enegmatic. With a underlying natural chaos
WOW

Jinksy said...

A timeless, watery love story, if ever I heard one...

Peter Goulding said...

Phew - I need a cold shower after that. The metaphor hold very well.

NanU said...

Excellent. The posts this week are really making me pine for the ocean!

Madame DeFarge said...

A fine poem there. But pity that I can't swim...

The lady in Red said...

Very nice and precise post...
Thanks for sharing it

Have a nice week,
Rosana

Windsmoke. said...

That's gotta be one of your best.

Karen said...

I know it isn't very articulate, but WOW!

Dave King said...

Thanks Strummed Words. Grateful for the comment.

Dick
Thanks ery much for the feedback. I do agree with your remarks about the compatability of surfing and the arts, though I have now got an impulse to try something for my oher two sporting loves, canoeing (which obviously is not too far from surfing) and cycling - which, actually is not to a great way removed from canoeing. Whether I will or not remains to be seen.

TechnoBabe
Thanks - a much appreciated comment.

Derrick
Did a bit in an amateurish way with the children. More seriously did some canoe surfing.

Tommaso
Thanks for the comment and for the steer. I have not heard of "Breath", but I think I may well track it down. Sounds like a book for me.

Totalfeckineejit
Careful, now!

Gwei
Very generous. Thanks.

Jinksy
I'm a sucker for all three.

Peter
Not too cold, I hope.

NanU
Writing that had the same effect on me.

MadameDeFarge
No excuse: at school I was diving for my house before I could swim - the trick is to not let go of the board. Oh, you do need to be able to tread water.

The Lady in Red
Thanks for that.
You too have a good week.

Windsmoke
Surprised, but thanks.

Karen
It'll do me fine! Thanks.

Kass said...

What a startling surprise this poem is from you, Dave.

Somehow I wished I smoked. Phew!

Dave King said...

Kass
Thanks for that Kass.

Titus said...

Can I be as articulate as Karen? Wow!
So many unexpected elements combined here, Dave, from surfer dude to sexual love to mathematics and form. And the wave as a woman put me on a different foot too.

Really enjoyed it, took me straight out of my comfort zone and I'm the better for that! Cheers.

Kat Mortensen said...

I'm with Karen, wow!
She can break you in half, that wave.

Kat

MuseSwings said...

Wonderful, visual, tangible and emotional - all riding on the same wave. Excellent!