Tidal Mill
2007 by Ellin Anderson


Ellin Anderson

On littered beaches where I lay
At rise of tide, at fall of day,
I saw the living stars' distress,
And wept to watch their helplessness.

I thought to leave the open sea
To those more open and less free:
And so I cut through fin and spine,
For both the harp and sword are mine.

I shuffled off my scaly sheath
And hobbled down to kick the teeth
Of muddy waves that gulped the shore,
Never to feel them any more.

I sought steep things, and thought these things
Must lead to higher, deeper things
If I could leave the sand to find
A fortress of another kind.

My lips were salt, I could not speak;
My legs were stone, yet I could seek
Some citadel where love would spare
One silent spirit of the air.

With track of blood, and still in pain,
I found a white and purple plain
Of flowers, bright as shells and foam,
And limped towards my mountain home.

The sun whirled like a hammer-wheel
That spun in search of anvil steel;
And looking North, I saw a Crown
Where blades of light came singing down.

No wave had ever reached as high
As cliffs that breached the azure sky;
And though I shivered, weak and small,
I did not feel afraid at all.

The mountains parted regally
Above the diamond clarity
Of water, where a stony ford
Made music for the secret fjord.

And there, upon the silver sand
I found a leaf that fit my hand:
Fresh emerald touched with fire-glow
That spoke of storms and endless snow.

Through dreaming eyes, I watched the lake,
But something startled me awake
Within that far and lonely wild:
The warbling laughter of a child,

And then another, as they came
Towards me, calling out my name,
And took my hands, and tugged my hair,
And led me to a meadow, where

The hammered gold spilled off the sun
Like joy, to crown each little one
Who shelters where my hands entwine
A harp and sword forever mine.


    2007 by Ellin Anderson. All rights reserved. No part of  this work may be copied or used in any way without written  permission from the author.


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