Sea – Giles Goodland


A soft-tusked sea-creature senses
among the broken shapes a pattern
furthers its
sinuous concerted moves
the tiny gates of the world are eyes
its mouth has a long message the tongue can’t
measure through the stopped doors it
assembles waves
licks open the graves, assembles us as pebbles
it makes the sound of us
rocks forth
under the tricking lights of cities, angled
in us is the season that spills into the children
sunset plumes the red wedge
the milk-spill of mist
not really particularly the sea at all.




Giles Goodland was born in Taunton, was educated at the universities of Wales and California, took a D. Phil at Oxford, has published a several books of poetry including A Spy in the House of Years (Leviathan, 2001)  Capital (Salt, 2006), Dumb Messengers (Salt, 2012) and The Masses (Shearsman, 2018). He works in Oxford as a lexicographer, teaches evening classes on poetry for Oxford University’s department of continuing education,  and lives in West London.



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