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What Stage of Tide Are We At?

by Cliff Hanger 

Posted: 06 January 2017
Word Count: 72
Summary: From spill simmer falter wither by Sara Baume


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What Stage of Tide Are We At?
 
An ancient sea wall, rimmed with ragged moss,
is all that separates them from the tides;
swirls that craft the nimbus of a celtic cross,
an ancient sea wall, rimmed with ragged moss.
Dislodge a corner, let the water run across
and wrap them in the waning moon’s embrace.
An ancient sea wall, rimmed with ragged moss,
is all that separates them from the tides.






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FelixBenson at 20:33 on 08 January 2017  Report this post
Wonderful title.

What lovely interconnected images which seem to revel in the triolet form.

Some phrases really sing:

The nimbus of the celtic cross

and

wrap them in the waning moon’s embrace.


That said, I found the meaning as slippery as the moss in part, and kept re-reading to try to be sure I had caught the poem's meaning.
These lines are clear (and lovely they are too as refrains)

An ancient sea wall, rimmed with ragged moss,
is all that separates them from the tides;


But this one:
'swirls that craft the nimbus of a celtic cross,'
Does that mean that the waves recede to reveal a celtic cross that is carved in the sea wall, or that the sea swirls making a shape reminiscient of a nimbus around the wall (making you think of a celtic cross)? I think that it is the former as that links with the lines about 'dislodging a corner' i.e. the water recedes revealing a corner of the carving, which then allows the moon to shine on it. Is that right?

These images are exceedingly lovely anyway, and there is something really atmospheric here about the sea, the cross, the moonlight and an ancient sea wall. It's all very elemental. And the fact I don't quite know the point about whether the cross is real or imagined seems to add to the poem rather than subtract.

A very successful triolet, I think. Hopefully you enjoyed writing in the form.


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