Is it time yet? It must be soon.
The plankton grow restless. The kelp vibrate.
The seals wink and stare and flip their fins.
yet Woden does not approve.
He stabs himself in the eye in disbelief
Any leakage thereof not a tear, but a reply
To the question posed by August bleak —
Rising to spate, thunder on its back
The ocean- terrifying and benign
Haunched waves forked by lightning, striking
Fickle temper, dripping with majesty
Such fancy language for water washing over open vowels
their spindrift fizz and tide-pool glug
Glug, glug, glug glug glug
Their corpuscles of oxygen rising, feeding our animate world
purpling the freighters & other fallen angels
with barnacle, salt, and rust. Now listen—
You can’t smile when you say this
“Exultation is the going of an inland soul to sea”
and will the waves be cold or sweet? And will we kiss
the tide’s sweet mistress, spume, and taste
algae and fog, noise and fever
in the wrinkled horizon, always receding
Fever and noise, algae and fog
But look! Through the dark waves—
An apparition the days have drowned
Undine, as the stars begin to spark
she unfurls her robe in the falling tide, reveals
The majesty of her
undulating iridescent scales, her aqua skin
her heavy cloak of floating bladder wrack
she tests taste and touch all that is mine
Have you noticed how the water tastes like blood, sucking and blowing its liquid breath
Or perhaps we should say, blood tastes like water, as 70% of everything should
As the pan of the ocean mirrors the hollow sky
But soaks its essence from the myriad lives
Suck and blow, above and below, infinity in every dt
Infinity in every drop
Infinity in every drop
The bitter waters of the past
go marching down in droplets toward the drain
Soapy froth of a thousand goose-stepping nostalgias
mingling with the warm blood of the sea
Lord, bring me some peace and favour!
Bring me a sign that does not burn
A wave that does not break
A shell with no voice but my own; bring me
Home, bring me peace, bring me eternity under the watchful stars
for I have swayed until the swaying turned to salt
To let them my water is roar with the power of your Love
Analysis by ChatGPT 3.5
In this enigmatic and evocative poem, the poet invites readers to contemplate the passage of time and the profound connection between humanity and the natural world. The poem begins with a sense of anticipation and restlessness, symbolized by the restlessness of plankton, vibrating kelp, and seals. This sense of anticipation is juxtaposed with a reference to Wednesday, a day associated with the Norse god Woden, whose self-inflicted eye wound is invoked as a symbol of disbelief and the inexplicable.
The poet then explores the theme of nature’s power and majesty, particularly focusing on the ocean. The ocean is described as both terrifying and benign, with waves likened to haunched creatures and lightning strikes personifying its fickle temper. The use of “fancy language” to describe the simple act of waves washing over vowels highlights the contrast between the poetic and the mundane.
The poem transitions to a reflection on the significance of the ocean and its impact on the world. It acknowledges the role of the ocean in sustaining life through the release of oxygen and the transformative effect it has on freighters and other objects, symbolizing the ocean’s relentless and transformative nature.
The poem then takes a philosophical turn, questioning the nature of existence and the human connection to the sea. The concept of “Exultation” and the symbolism of an “inland soul going to sea” suggest a spiritual or existential journey. The question of whether the waves will be “cold or sweet” and the reference to kissing the “tide’s sweet mistress” hint at the mysterious and unpredictable nature of life’s journey.
The poem also delves into sensory experiences, particularly taste and touch, as the poet contemplates the taste of water and the sensation of being immersed in the sea. The poem’s repetition of “Suck and blow, above and below, infinity in every drop” emphasizes the cyclical and eternal nature of water, as well as its connection to the past and the present.
The poem concludes with a plea for peace and a return to a sense of home and eternity. The image of swaying until it “turned to salt” suggests a transformation or dissolution of the self in the face of nature’s vastness and power. The final lines invoke the power of love and suggest a longing for connection and transcendence.
Overall, this poem is a rich tapestry of imagery and symbolism that invites readers to contemplate the interplay between the natural world and human existence, the passage of time, and the eternal mysteries of life and death. It challenges the reader to find meaning and solace in the face of the vast and ever-changing ocean of existence.