Two poems from The Island Sequence of ‘She’
sea is a womb
sea is a womb
rock and rock,
gold lace a-glitter
beneath the carved wave
black the inky waves lap to
black the inky waves lap to and black they suck the shale and if birds swoop they are the mere shadows of birds there are hands there to disembark you to hold you over the rocky black those hands that will arc you onto the comfort of stone this is the sea/ this inky black it does not smell of sea the gap between the boat and the shore is awesome the wood laps the water dragging it out / and bobbing it back again the chasm at the heel and one step forward to land to stone comfort.
Poems from The Island Sequence of ‘She’ are © C. Murray
black the inky waves lap to was published in The Burning Bush VI
(i) A letter found in the box that contained this narrative, being addressed to the cousin of former patient, Miss Constance Byrne.
(ii) A note attached to the file of Miss Constance Byrne (now deceased).
|Cousin – ,
The narrative that follows here is a faithful rendering of my wanderings from the time of my retirement to the dawn. It is always the same. I do not expect anyone will believe me, but I know that my dreaming life is as real as my waking life.
Indeed, I have learnt not to call these sleeping narratives anything other than a different part of my reality.When I first encountered the entity that appears on the towpath I was afraid for She seemed hardly human to me. I had gone little by little into this dreaming place over the course of twenty years, and I had explored it wholly in her company. I do not know what my encounter with this lady means, I intend to find out.
In my exploratory times there I have never yet met another person. Although there were signs of life (or of creaturely habitation).This landscape seemed to me to be ruined by war and by heat. What else could make marble of glass shards?
It is bleak there. At every dawn there occurs a throb of colour and I know that somehow I am back here in this world. I do not believe that my nightly explorations are a dream, for I have found tears upon my slippers, and a rend in the lace of my dress.She wants to show me something. She has indicated for me a bridge. I intend to cross over it, and thereby to continue to explore the geography of its unknown terrain.
I travel now alone. I am unencumbered by family, nor by tradition. I leave to you this letter and some small tokens of my esteem. Know that I am safe, and although I undertake this journey with trepidation, I remain always your,