Thursday, 4 November 2010

House by the Sea : Carol Bialock

I built my house by the sea.
Not on sand, mind you.
Not on the shifting sand.
And I built it of rock.

A strong house.
By a strong sea.
And we got well-acquainted, the sea and I.
Good neighbors.
Not that we spoke much.
We met in silences.
Respectful, keeping our distance,
but looking our thoughts across the fence
of sand.
Always, the fence of sand our barrier;
always the sand between.

And then one day
(I still don't know how it happened),
but the sea came.
Without warning.
Without welcome, even.
Not sudden and swift, but sifting across the
sand like wine.
Less like the flow of water than the flow
of blood.
Slow, but coming.
Slow, but flowing like an open wound.
And I thought of flight and I thought of drowning and I thought of death.
And while I thought the sea crept higher,
till it reached my door.

I knew, then, there was neither flight nor
death nor drowning.
That when the sea comes calling you stop
being good neighbors,
Well-acquainted, friendly-from-a-distance
And you give your house for a coral castle,
And you learn to breathe under water.


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful poem! I live by the sea, so you poem is really close to my heart.

Anonymous said...

Where is the house by the sea, i.e location, would love to know.

Many thanks