A Poem – Black Sand


Black sand, black sand

How you sit so long and slender,

Before me like a velvet cloak,

Basking under blazing sun,

With no-one here to love you

But my weathered young heart,

And the old wrinkled fisherman,

In his faded shirt and withered hands,

Saddled with nothing but the salty air,

Hacking coconuts on your black sand.


And how black sand you are freckled;

Speckled and heckled even!

By crackling shells and coral stone

From the womb of your mother ocean,

Who whips and spits,

A ripping wail of white foamed cloud,

Flailed to your black sand shoreline

And buries me;

An island on your island

In the bosom of your black sand.


Black sand, oh black sand,

Will you soon forsake me?

I sit in the mouth of Eden,

Amongst the palm tree groves

In a symphony of a silent hour

When only the sound of the tide

Shall hear my murmuring,

And only the curling hood of crashing waves

Shall see what my eyes see;

Before me not a soul but a sight,

Of a naked blue horizon of glittering sea.


For today she is all mine to love,

And today her song is mine alone,

For she is asylum from my island,

And I hear her siren play for me alone

‘Til the breakers yield and my lungs surrender,

And the ocean and I are of one breath,

Safe from the flight of a whispering breeze,

And the mournful call of minarets,

Over paddy fields wrung with sweat and smoke,

And the haunting dirge of the ocean’s depths.


Black sand, my black sand,

How do you not desert me?

When the ocean roars her thunderous spill,

Her riptide full,

Yet her sorrow tender,

For the throne I burrow,

With my bare hands spent,

In my empire of solace,

This velvet cloak of ugly splendour.


Copyright: Antony Raine 2013


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