A Poem on World Poetry Day – from Jehanne Mehta

awen-blog

We went with family on a boat trip from St Justinian, near St David’s in West Wales, to circumnavigate Ramsey Island, a bird sanctuary with enormous cliffs and large settlements of seabirds, including kittiwakes and guillemots, and sheltered inlets where the seals come to pup in great numbers in the breeding season. The seals, like this one, pop up to look at the boats. I don’t speak Welsh but know how to pronounce it and I love the sound of the language and learn a few words from the traffic signs. These felt a fitting start for a poem.

 

Sea Riders                 

 

Araf

araf

araf nawr

slow

slow

slow down now.

Stand … stop … before this wide

blue-green expanse of ocean.

Sefwch yma

wait here, stop

at the edge,

until you feel

the rolling rhythm of the tides,

these returning cosmic cycles

that nothing interrupts,

these rolling rhythms that mould us

soul deep.

Foot falling in the sand,

feel the salt lick of the

running wave.

Listen to the

mounting roar and sink

of incoming swell,

the withdrawing rattle of sliding

shingle.

Watch the dipping wing

of kittiwake and guillemot

tumbling among these dark

and massy cliffs,

where seals sing in hidden

clefts, dolphins dive, and the air

stings,

sharp against you mouth,

gaping and amazed before this

ocean mystery.

 

Ignore the man-made clouds that

stripe the sky,

dropping steely rods of rain,

deploying drought,

like armaments, displacing

the habitual patterns  of

wind and weather: sorcerer’s

apprentice stuff this, which

we are bound to drown in,

when fear takes over,

feeding on surface insecurity.

But no.

Ar agor.

Open,

we are open,

open for business

with a deeper magic,

allied

to the unstoppable rhythm

of the tides.

 

We are sea riders,

riders of the deep.

 

 

© Jehanne Mehta 31 July 2013

Jehanne is one of the contributors to Soul of the Earth: the Awen anthology of eco-spiritual poetry edited by Jay Ramsay.

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