Selected Works

GIFT FROM THE SEA

(On seeing the photograph of the drowned Syrian child Aylan Kurdi, aged three, on the front page of the Metro, 3rd September, 2015)

The wet sand gives way
to the heavy sole of the policeman
and his burden,
making its mark deeply
for seconds only:

we see the little legs,
the sandalled feet
folded over outstretched arms
of the man cradling
his gift from the sea;

there is no heat no cold
in this image,
we barely see the sea even
nor hear its fierce
or gentle murmur,

we only know
it gave to the world
this gift,
this image
for us to weep another ocean
that will not in its deep
wild waywardness
allow us sleep,
allow forgetfulness

while such a tiny thing
as a drowned child
is offered up to lie
forever stilled
in the mind’s eye.