By Water, by David Smith

This poem by Society member David Smith was published in Folio #74, in 2020.

By Water

It’s lovely at night when the light shines through,
when the white of the page reveals itself
between the black ink waves
and you see, in the gaps,
the story unfolding.

It’s hard sometimes,
so many ripples, so much white noise,
to see the strands.
But you know they’re there. Waiting.

You could take a boat, row for the islands.
trailing a net to trawl the gaps
for their treasures.
They slip through
but leave a residue:
slick as oil, slippery as eelskin,
but the tang of it is enough
to get things rolling.

Come morning the tide is out,
the boat beached in a nest of pebbles,
but the gaps are still there,
shining through the blue,
and the light of the dawning day
makes sense of the darkness.

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