Today's poem is by Anne Ryland

Sea Script

One vast page ranging away from view,
   no paragraphs for pauses. Where to begin,
how to find a loose thread that invites
   unravelling. Each sentence slips out of
its predecessor and into the next, wave
   upon wave of calligraphy, not a lapse or
hesitation in sight. This is a complex
   and perfect grammar, and I always loved
a verb table, the way tenses string
   together as pearls, each mirroring another,
and those cupboards a linguist builds
   in her mind, where accusative, dative,
genitive are stored for instant access,
   the carved drawers of etymology, where
tide derives from time. Later, I may
   evolve into marine lexicographer, a creature
of the shore, gathering and annexing
   the sea's textures, until I become bilingual
in its liquid language. But for now
   I must learn the words as a child does,
like braille, tracing them by finger
   in the sand, the slow kinaesthetic method.
My first letter is the shape of a small
   purse, or is it a lip, just slightly open.

Copyright © 2004 Anne Ryland All rights reserved
from Entering the Tapestry
Enitharmon Press / Dufour Editions
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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