We saw it sink; the tides
took it, the tug of oars between the strand
and formlessness that left the sands
forlorn; out past the wrack,
beyond the harbour-walls’ embrace,
the embers ebbed to black.

Listen, the land is locked
in silence; waves and waders moved as one
to cede the shore; the godwits gone,
the shingles glint unsheathed,
the overtures retracted now
and song sucked back through teeth.

Where boughs, unburdened, bare
their losses, strakes of shadow rake the floor,
and runic trees, in semaphore,
lament the migrant words’
diminishing anaphoras,
unheeded now, unheard

by most; among these drifts
of dross and wood, detritus lapped by lees,
where currents barely cap our knees
that once immersed us whole,
we trawl through banished beauty’s wake
in times of love’s withdrawal.

Daniel Gustafsson

Daniel Gustafsson has published collections of poetry in both English and Swedish. A new pamphlet, Fordings, was published earlier this year by Marble Poetry. Swedish, Anglophile, Eastern Orthodox, with a special interest in William Blake and alliterative verse, Daniel also has a PhD in Philosophy from the University of York. He lives in York.

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