Eastern Ripples


 >>>>> Dunes and ocean


I trek back

loping across the long rolling littoral

of undulating dunes,

taking the old bending track,


by tall, punkish shocks

of marram grass tussocks.


The weakest breeze

is shifting and shaping the sand

into endless swarming wavelets:

cloning the sleepy, lapping form

of the dormant North Sea;

talking to me as I walk the shoreline.

The brackish ether is rippling too,

in simple, sympathetic resonance

with the stark ocean,

a sinking Norfolk land,

and my stalking cadence.


Each rippling contour configured singularly,

like infinite distinctive letters

in some incoherent random handwriting.


Microtonal notes, each unique,

in a crashing cacophony

played by creation’s boundless band.


Shapes and sounds

wrinkling elemental skeins:

earth, water, air,

and the lingering presence

of some wary spirits I don’t care to define.

Fashioning rare granular structures

thrilling all my bare senses

with their esoteric poise.


My whole head is a noise.


 >>>>> Henge


I sit on a softish tuft,

twisting open a frothy beer,

spilling spuming bands

on to fine silica grains.

I stroke the soaked sand

tick-tock hypnotically,

which sticks and flicks

and cuts and itches my hand.

Looking south, down the crinkled strand,

I pick out the annular band

of broken trunks,

soaked and sunken.

Spiky totemic oak relics,



At the nucleus of this henge,

like a glaring dark iris:

a hulking oak.

Half buried, roots to the sky.

A hallowed altar perhaps,

to exact or avoid some godly revenge.

Or some incisive eye?


Created by an arcane culture

Reanimating dead wood.

Hewn and lunar-aligned,

seeking to impress some primeval order

over a cracked cosmos.

Any clues in the bronze-carved runes

erased to smooth coalsack black

by the non-human endurance

of wave and tide over myriad moons.

Now, this almost meaningless, eerie essence

lacks coherence.

But, thank the numen, I am not immune.

Soon I sense the henge’s evanescent energy pulse,

lessened over four millennia;

though the dense medium

conveying these tuneless vibrations

and how I detect them

is deeply mysterious to me.


 Heavens <<<<<


I carefully caress a stray seed

as if it were the fragile blown egg

of some rare songbird,

feeling the pod’s outer Fibonacci patterns

and satin patina,

sensing circulated codes

from the plant that bore it,

carrying the universe of all its kind,

as it has for millions of Earth orbits,

to recreate its likeness

and none other.


The undulating ciphers cross-relate.

A third potent beer sates my drought,

quickens my prickling, thinning skin,

restoring some queer animistic state.

So I wait...


Now, alternately staring...


At one part: the blazing, boiling ball

falling over the marshland crest,

low in the west-south-west,

vesting all entities

with their own internal luminescence.


At the other: my vaguest gauge

of all the dull horizon,

calling to the vast flat east,

where the glimmering matt pewter

of a million blades of war

melds with muted silver.

Block upon perspective-less block,

momentarily smothering

all other singularities.


The rhythm of the heavens never lies.

I wonder...

how many suns have yet to rise,

breaking dawns over this bleak sea,

before my weak flesh dies

and my raw soul flashes free?


And then...

How many auroras

before the coda of humanity?


 >>>>> Harrier


A marsh harrier slides

across the wide orange orb,

casting a fast, sinister shadow.

A brief, harrowing guise,

like some crippled, fallen angel:

contorted and graceless

in its fiendish reincarnation,

slashing over the dunes,

crashing to earth.


Seconds later, unveiled and reborn

the real, aerial, material form

glides on, over the gloomy lagoon.

Making its long-tailed, elegant descent.

Arrow-true, into the glassy reedbeds.

A distant, watery, nesting mew:


emanating from an era of failed old gods

when the henge was freshly forged.

Framed eternal in the new ether

before the last few ancients withdrew.

Before the tides came.

Before the dunes grew

and grew.


Spirits >>> earth >>>> water >>> air.


Eternal patterns reverberating through.


Dunes and ocean >>> henge >>>

heavens >>> harrier.


More ripples than I ever knew.





© lawrence reed 2022