An Outpost

In this cold northern outpost
little penetrates the rain
even memories,  once bright
have to fight to be sustained
because here  
all colour
fades to monochrome
confronted by  the onslaught
of the elements, the
flaying of the waves, nature's
way  of showing us disdain.

I have thoughts of you  in
pales and greys - on
quiet days I try and hear your
pulses on the airwaves but
your  signal is too weak to 
battle through the heavy
static since 1983: you
could  not now reach
my  antennae without

The  only thing I clearly hear:
defiance from  the bleak rocks
standing fast against a
pounding  sea giving way
grudgingly with violence
converging on  the cliffs - this
neverending  rift of attrition
breeding strength to those
born  of east coast stock - here
the hardihood  is bred
in the blood.

Without  you, here
as anywhere,  I am
just another incomer to the
tides of life, the ebb
and  flow, the to and fro,
never  understanding why
I dash against the hardest stones
that you alone could
save me  from.

Your  sustenance has
lost its power to
feed me from  afar, your
wisdom  is too quiet, distant, dim
to lance the din of
storms and uproar  here - your
morse  code fading with
each year - I feel your
salt and pith drain
from  me slowly drop by
drop  of living pain

until now at
this point in my life
I must rely on the
right kind of luck to
survive - the intermittent
dot and dash  of you which
does  struggle through
despatches me the message:
I only stop paddling
against the tide when
denied the choice
so to do
and not before -

but when  I stand like this
without you  on the shore and
in the wind and rain too long
they make me  raw, forlorn,
so much  the poorer for your lack

all I have is
wealth of wind and water,
tide and time, not
enough  to make your signal strong
not enough  to bring you back.
Collected Works
Return to Collections all
next poem