Carrion Sea (May 1962, revised 2014)
I, silent dykes about me build,
fenders against the sea.
This bitter sea surges in might,
perpetually moulds the cliff, proud earth,
then softens it, sifts it to sand and sucks its richness.
Cold this deep, compassion not in it, nor pity.
Green-cliffs lurch, then crash against my poor defences,
Beat their fists against my hopes, and die in a smother of foam.
Yet remnants swiftly rush and slide
to catch my feet,
taste unhealing wounds and hound my soul.
White death, thunder death,
throwing itself on sword rocks,
But still climbing, climbs, yet inch by inches, climbs the heap of mourning bones,
to reach its prey: me.
it will not reach.