The ropes have just been cast,
they are coiling now around the bollard
screeching like snakes striving to choke the prey.
They are bright and rough, vivid,
their ochre spiky thickness stinging the swollen air,
you gaze and grasp their starkness
on the bank segmented by cotton-like pillows of damp.
Just before stepping off the boat
you take in the busy silence of the faces
lined up on the pier: you marvel
at their otherworldly air that doesn’t come
from any particular feature
but it’s like the dots of silence lingering
despite the running garland of voices.
Yes, you are going to disembark
into the sleep we are made of,
you have just bridged that gap
covering an almost forbidden distance,
you are going to hug your dear undeparted
and taste the salt of the stones under your feet,
you anticipate a solid otherness that won’t be thwarted,
the here-and-now that like the yellow furze will bloom.
This poem appeared in "THE SHOp" in 2004.