Big Sea

“What must I sing?” said Cædmon.
“Sing”, he said, “about the beginning of created things.”

I’ll sing of high spume and brisk winds
the air studded with diamonds.

As enthralled, we watch these walls
of wild water leaping over the pier,

How they swallow each other,
Rise again in ongoing resurrections.

When they reach for us with icy fingers
we burst with laughter that shatters

like stage-glass about us, runs away
through shivering silver puddles;

“What must I sing?” said Cædmon.
“Sing”, he said, “about the beginning of created things.”

while a shag poses for photos
perched upon the sea defenses,

peering along the black length
of its beak, egging us on to sing

snatches of Cædmon’s holy verses
to the boom, slap and spit

of the sea’s orchestra, stretched
between Winter and Spring.

“What must I sing?” said Cædmon.
“Sing”, he said, “about the beginning of created things.”

Bob Beagrie is a widely published poet from Middlesbrough. His work has been translated into Dutch, Finnish, Estonian, Swedish, Danish and Urdu. His latest collection is Civil Insolencies (Smokestack Books 2019). He is a part time Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Teesside University.

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