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Saturday, 9 April 2011

Said the land to the sea.

Being the land's reply to the sea - see note below

This is where your freedom ends, the land
said to the sea. My cliffs and beaches are
the bounds you sometimes go beyond,
tsunami-style, but even that
is down to me,
my shuffling of plates.

I am the prestidigitator of your fate.
Remember friend,
you lie on me and when I stir,
turn in my sleep,
heave up my restless back
or cough, you are the one who's spilt.

You may occasionally push me back
an inch, a foot or two, a meter now and then,
but what have you achieved?
A dislodged rock, a heap of pestled chalk?
At other times you are constrained
by forces from outside:

by winds and moon,
the drivers of your tides.
Our so-called freedoms are illusory, my friend,
for freedom speaks of self determinance, the lack
of interference, states of minimal restraint;
yet still you nibble at my shores.

Your vaunted freedom is to roam at will;
my liberty, the right to stay
inviolate. Impossible, are both.
We play around the edges,
neither of us having what we crave:
the freedom to make choices.

This poem was suggested by Jim at The Truth About Lies in his comments on my earlier poem Said the Ocean to the Shore Jim mentioned that he had been expecting the Land to reply. The remark was picked up.

12 comments:

Isabel Doyle said...

geology was one of my first loves - I always enjoy the interplay between science and poetry, which some consider an oxymoron, but you have proven them wrong (again)

Jim Murdoch said...

Yes! Excellent. This is exactly what was needed. You are on a roll at the moment, aren't you?

Sailor said...

I enjoyed the conversation or the land's talk to the sea.

Elisabeth said...

'Prestidigitator',now that's some word, Dave.

The Land is articulate in the extreme, if not prone to obfuscation in her/his choice of words.

Great poem, Dave, and with a salutary message.

Titus said...

Wonderful, Dave. A succession of good lines - I'll pick this one:
A dislodged rock, a heap of pestled chalk?
with a structured argument (fitting!), and that final verse is excellent.
Loved it!

TechnoBabe said...

Wonderful reading. "shuffling of plates"on land while the sea "nibbles at the shores".

Dave King said...

Isabel
It was one of mine also - that being down to a great teacher. Thanks for the nice compliment.

Jim
Yes, thanks. I FEEL as though I'm a roll, it's true, but I also feel as though it's coming to an end. (Fingers crossed!!) And thanks for your part in this one.

Sailor
As a professional? Thanks.

Elisabeth
Mmmm, land's sort of stodgy, as opposed to the more fluid sea.

Titus
Many thanks for that feedback. Great to have it.

TechnoBabe
Thanks for the appreciative comment.

Jinksy said...

Freedom of choice - worth its weight in gold...

Carl said...

Human internal struggles well illustrated by land and sea. Another nice one Dave.

flaubert said...

Wonderfully written piece from beginning to end, Dave.

Pamela

angryparsnip said...

How great that your poem replies to the comment and answers the earlier poem.
Very clever.

cheers, parsnip

Dave King said...

Jinksy
Yes, that's the thing!

Carl
Thanks Carl. You've read it exactly - always nice to know.

Pamela
Thank you so much - lovely comment.

angryparsnip
Comment clicked with me straight away. I thought, yes, that's what it needs! Thanks for yours.