all poems eventually fall into the sea.
write true heart. trustworthy eyes.
ears that adore every sound from your lips.
we let you go. because that’s where you were
already going to.
what falls into the sea belongs to the sea.
we stand witness. hands out of pockets. we care, this much.
measure us. we spread our arms, this much big. you see?
we stand here beside our deep-seeded memory.
both of us leaning toward waves. hands raised into sky.
knuckles white, makes no better leveraged eye. only this one song.
the way is laid into our shellfish feet. we are part
sand, part far sea. no end. so says this book of names.
remembering early days, didn’t you whensoever near
a fallow beach, make your castle in the soft damp sand.
then wait. tide approaches. castle walls resist.
did you root for both?
in time we too fall into feral sea.
borne again. like waves, we sail.
image: All Saints Church, the last of town Dunwich before falling into the waves. in 1922, finally it fell, amid a waterfall of dead men’s bones onto the beach below, becoming “playthings for the waves of the North Sea.”
- moments of prior history,
…more destruction was to come. Candlemas, each February, was a festival to commemorate the Virgin Mary by lighting candles in churches across the land. They did not stay lit in Dunwich for long. On February 5th, 1570, the sea rose up with unabated fury in the “Candlemas Storm”. Many feet of snowfall suddenly thawed on Candlemas Day, triggering a terrible flood that coincided, as luck would have it, with another sea storm. There was “a great rage of water” that ripped houses to pieces, turning roof beams into battering rams, demolishing stone walls and buildings, uprooting pews from churches, and propulsing people backwards off the cliff in the middle of the night as they slept.
Matthew Green, The City That Fell Off a Cliff
2 thoughts on “the church that fell off a cliff”
“all poems eventually fall into the sea”—there’s something so beautiful and kind of sad about this. We all return to the sea, to the water from which we are connected and came from. Those final lines are filled with hope and love. Yes, we return to the sea, but it’s to sail free.
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Thanks Bridgette. Me loves lots of things, and comments are one of them! Maybe I could call the notion of this poem – conservation of momentum (poems). What ever gets really lost?
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