I walked from this place in a rain of evening
took the cinder path that led to the sea.
I had questions for the sea.
I took along all that had knotted my shoulders
and torn through my digestion
and had me muttering in the streets like an outpatient
and reaching up to the trees and howling under the stars
and kneeling in my world’s dirt, rolling it between my fingers
and calling the birds my brothers
and asking the grasses how to live
and never being heard for years
I took all this and I thought
to heave it into the swell
and watch it sigh away on the evening ebb.
Instead I stood on the flats by a fist of drowned roots
in a low drift of seacloud as dusk came down
and I watched three young dolphins arch in the fjord mouth
as if I were the sand itself or nothing at all.
And I waited until they went under
and did not rise again
and then I thanked them
and I shouldered my load
and went home.
From Songs from the Blue River
by Paul Kingsnorth
Published by Salmon in 2018
Copyright © Paul Kingsnorth, 2018
MORE ABOUT PAUL KINGSNORTH
PAUL KINGSNORTH is a novelist, poet and essayist. He is the author of two novels and three books of non-fiction. His debut collection, Kidland and other poems, was published by Salmon in 2011. He is co-founder of the Dark Mountain Project, an international network of writers and artists searching for new stories for an age of upheaval. He lives in County Galway, Ireland.
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