hard to remember how it was
when they improvised and tossed
a tune for days on end
when small one set his voice free
when they all played catch bubbles O
when a chorus of bass notes
overtones tail-slaps clicks rumbles
filled the sea
when wind sang the lighthouse
there was a time when they could answer
songs from beyond the krill place
a time when their voices
but now dark ones ____________________
won’t stop ___________________screaming
and lurk ___________________in the deep places
stealing music and sleep _________________________
sometimes muscles _______________remember old patterns_________________
but they ______________can no longer tell _____________what they sing
moon still licks it tongue ________________over their backs
but there is no meaning in this water_________________
step through knot-work roots
over water-rounded stones
into black silk
hands shear through mountains,
wrinkling permanence of rock
scrambles of ducklings
etch Llyn Tegid with yellow
as I tread water
two mayflies hitch up
on a blue-electric path
between lake and reed
lie back, sky-watching
feel the comfort of this world
as it spins through space
Things in each other
after Norman MacCaig
Sand dunes are mountains to her eyes;
mountains to somersault down, feet
sliding, criss-crossing. Sand in shoes
and hair. Today she is a Bedouin
intent on water and tide-line treasure;
glittering sea purses, sun stars,
cuttlefish bones and bladder wrack.
Her eyes are alight with the shine of the sea.
Her immersed hands circle ringlets
to fake green strokes in water, light fidgets.
She writes, in aquamarine, of a dream
curled up, as yet unborn. Her words
wriggle in-between rocks. Currents
push and pull them into silver patches
of water where the sky rests and gannets dive.
She follows as deep as she dares
brushing by limpets, hair like snake locks,
darting with brown shrimps,
following the sea hare.
A niggling fidget and the green is there.
Gasping for breath she comes from water
into air and runs barefoot in wet sand,
following horses that steam and smoke.
She jumps as they jump. Over driftwood
and breakwaters, spraying water jewels.
She is the princess of spray, riding bareback
in her mind, mane around her fingers
with nothing but the sound of hooves
and sea and wind. The sky of a hue
born of a blue and marrying into blue.
From a distance she is a water sprite,
a small thing who cart-wheels
on the edge between land and sea.
In these moments of balance,
she is immune to aches that rip her
in two and leave her breathless.
For now she rides on the crest
of this niggling ghost of a dream
which fidgets when the green is there
with clouds blushed pink on it from the upper air.
Diana Sanders is a musician and poet who lives and works in North Wales. She takes much of her inspiration from the Welsh landscape. Her latest project is a collaboration with eight poets from the North West, recording their words and setting them to music. More information can be found at (1) Diana Sanders - Poet and Sound Artist | Facebook