Month: November 2020

The waves

You frolic at my circumference, wet your toes at the edge of me, and you think you know me? Shall we examine our existence? Having splashed in my shallows you claim to have touched my depths? Poets, not the moon, have me falling, crashing, frothing fiercely, but, I was only arching my back against the sky, and there is so much sky. These waves heave my interminable sigh, and have heard you in your panicked swarms come bathe to assuage your peeling husks blistered by the rub of coarsely moving time. 

Now I push back ceaselessly from the madness of the land. I lived there aeons past, before memory, before you. Traces of me are cut into rock there. I have been in places you have not yet stepped. Once your mountains were folds beneath my feet, your vast forests, kindling I pressed to the pulp that ant-like, you unearth and burn. You burn everything that’s good. Your forests, your books, your peacemakers, your enemies … yourselves.

Granted, we have had our moments. I was happy when you first built boats. How we played. I even pulled you along when your arms grew weary. What fine times we had? Trade began well. Too soon sharing begat greed

It seemed then that we wanted the same things?

I recall the fragrance of oranges, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg and olives freshly pressed. I held those memories while you loaded your holds with humans, then guns, travelled to distant shores, and burnt them as well. And you say I am unfathomable? 

Photo by koko rahmadie

I gave you the antedeluvian age. Not being a land creature, I retreated. I was young and foolish. I should have stayed, kept you drowned. But, you were always too far gone and one cannot drown the dead. Granted, there were other forces as well. You have quantified and measured all but one. The force that brings you here. Why do you come to this shore? Why stare at the edge of the world?

Homer made Gods of men at sea. Most I spat back. My taste is not for men. Giving me a name will not pacify my nature. Keep your trident, your trinkets and toys. You do not know me. I am a stranger to you still. My tempests will swallow Empire after Empire. I remember the Phoenicians, I knew Odysseus, saw Troy fall, watched Mark Anthony’s fleet burn at Actium, blew the Northmen to the New Wold five centuries before Columbus sailed the America’s or Diaz rounded Cape Horn, marvelled at the Treasure Fleet of Zheng He. I watched nations rise and fall and the rivers of blood that bleed from power did not make you stop. Instead the fires of hatred forged bigger guns and bombs which took flight holding the power of the sun, your new light of the world that poisons us still. Even so, I will remain after you are done with your toys, your noisy politics and rattling sticks.

I learned you too could roar.

All knowing man, my child. All your sandcastles, games, your frolicking at the edges of what you think of as the best of me-all these aeons you saw just waves, thought I had come out to play? Weary of your trifling games, I feel a surge rising …

Photo by Ray Bilcliff

My nature is deeper than those frothy collapses caught in the curve of endless verbs. I am the alpha erasing the edge of the omega of your world. Unspoken still, I persist.