Seaweed on the Rocks: a Poem and a Reflection

by Martin Potter

spirit of waves and weed

fan-spread out but hard back-draw

hair-pulling the rock’s weed

the sands slip again wave-rolled

rust-weeds flail strained and furrowed

and their blistered plasticity

captive sway with water rhythms

when the tide leaves them air-dry

slow-crisping by sun’s bite

sea-beasts shed to rock brine-pools

a limited desolation and awaiting

finger-splay wavelets’ return

touching the ribbon forest wetly

bringing salt to the brew

their animation to weak stems

Uncanny analogies haunt the coast, where natural geometries are uncovered, a lunar calendar governs the waters’ time, and creatures live in ways unseen on land. Nevertheless the life-forms are supported by the same elements as elsewhere, while making different patterns of them. We wander out to the shore’s edge with a sense of precarity, knowing that the welcome is not extendable without limits.

Martin Potter ( is a British-Colombian poet and academic, based in Manchester, and his poems have appeared in AcumenThe French Literary ReviewEborakonInk Sweat & TearsThe Poetry Village, and other journals as well as in Black Bough anthologies. His pamphlet In the Particular was published in 2017. His academic interests include David Jones, Henry James, theology and literature, and aesthetics.

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