SEA, SAND and CEMENT
Written in June 1990 – Edited and posted ~ 24.01.2012 – Re-posted – 26.12.2019
as part of an Edenbray retrospective
SEA, SAND and CEMENT
One part sea, vast and grey mirror, reflecting light and deep,
Home of strange form, mysterious life, origin of species? ~ I don’t think so!!
Hundred-fold the measure, the eyes, legs and tentacles, curious fish-form, gills, fins and tails,
Dancing grass, weed and starburst, wet air to these the matter of their world,
They pass through like space ships travelling, silver metal, glinting gold, in reflected sun,
Some with black gun-metal canopy-cold, armed with razor teeth and weaponry,
Fleets of capsules, battalions of grey-blue night, striped, spotted, shaped flat and broad,
Lithe torpedo-form and jelly, wild and varied, each moving in surges and jointless ease,
This bedspread galaxy, laid out and draped around the earth’s ball like a giant fingered hand,
As though all vast, unnumbered circumference had been held and dipped in pure preservative and then stood aside and left to run,
Now the scientist begins to understand with measure, scale and technical data, the lens focusses bigger and brighter,
Comprehension dawning that this water-world still grasps to its bosom many uncharted secrets the wise and learned could not yet believe,
The sea as far off and uncertain as any astral star, unafraid,
It welcomes all unconditional and free though its claims are total, its commitment unswerving,
While some may play, dancing at its lip, others die, prey only to its unfamiliar form, it is no respecter of persons, untamed and headstrong,
With a caress as gentle as a young girl, an embrace as cold as death itself,
Still, as a young girl, naive and innocent so it has dwelt, though abused and plundered,
Still, its deep places hold wonder, charm and dread,
Still, its power feared and admired, thunders and its many hands carve relentlessly into the softened skin at lands fluted edge.
Two parts sand, red-ochre, sun-gold, purple-grey, citrus, stone, umber white and mandarin,
From cliff top, waters edge, dune and quarry, laid on, loved on, lived on,
Sand ~ white gold, white fire, running through my hands, liquid gold and fire,
We have told the time by it, wiggled our toes in it, wet and dry we have taken it, glued it and smoothed our wood with it,
Yellow sand, bright as the sun, its memory is laughter, sea and fun, donkey rides, bucket and spade and we danced on it!
The desert is yawning stretching its arms, engulfing communities, livelihoods, farms,
Flooding its banks, carving its trail, the sand-sod is marching with a lash in its tail and men have lost their lives in it,
The bedouins dark clothes, his tent, people, belongings, he lives on it,
Sandstorm, quicksand, treachery, pain, its deep places hide the earths hard, harsh moments, it is the earths purest dust,
The deal was struck, the agreement signed, the commodity assured, marketed, priced and mined,
Converted and mixed with ballast, bagged, packaged, heaped and stored, who could remember the ocean had roared?
Sand ~ golden earth and we turned it into glass, so now we look through it, see through it, drive through it, live through it,
How much glass have we made? How many glass fronted lives?
Three parts cement, angular, cold, devoid of soft form, it ran once like a trickling stream,
Lights flash; sirens edit; and the curious people converge again in vibrant clusters,
The rush of voice; engine; music; merged a created sound wave jangled; muted; moulded; set in rigid parenthesis.
We are in a city place; Lost people giving space; Miles of traffic caught in a turgid, futile race, this cement has become the only grace.
Concrete moments caught in a rectangular frame, offset grey and pale,
Glazed banners adorn its fortress ramparts and the children running fall and graze their knee.
Still the time of day has passed; Many feet make strange patterns, following the fashions leader and we read it all over the tabloids.
I remember a gentle rushing and seabirds attending this and that waves entry,
A soft memory and easy but this arid desert is a sweat box, uncomfortable, grey and grimed.
Take a paint box, select the colour and daub deeply, inflicting the pain that civilisation has written on the world of human sense.
The roasted coke, clay and limestone that once discovered fused an idea so clean and brilliant.
…Or the sand, calcium carbonate and sodium carbonate, heated strongly which made a mirror speak.
…The calcium hydroxide, sand and water mixed to a paste and left to draw in dioxide carbon to set and bind our walls.
All of these elements flung wide to herald in the day when mankind would contemplate his creation and wonder where perhaps the sea has gone?
writtenbyedenbrayduring the month of June – 1990
Raising The White-flag of Reason
This trilogy kind of ‘doesn’t need any explanation’ – except to maybe describe or ‘colour-in’ the background a little.
It is a ‘painting’ – a moving picture – an epic movie if you like that attempts to capture “the whole thing” – like in a game of charades? – In its most positive light … the earth, mankind, the Question of Creation – Job’s privilege and confession – man-kinds achievements both futile but nonetheless successful – including his desire to control nature, both necessary and contradictory but also controversial and flawed – The ‘whole-thing’ summarised under three headings – three elements fused and yet independent and dependent upon each other – excepting that is, that concrete in terms of global geography is man-kinds genuine offering to the table – presented alongside the offerings of nature – Sea … Sand … AND … Cement – a symbolic trio ‘equally’ dynamic in the story they tell?! ~ edenbray today