A creaking at springtime. Compaction. Bright white sleep.
This is how it was for a long time – the head of the world
cold, unfevered, sheer. An almost-violet light.
Now the sea is always speaking – its crystals
wetly sublime and loosen, the fossil water
is freed among veering, grime-capped waves
into the jolt and recoil of motion, and here,
on this coast, the waves find a way
through three houses
and now they take down the middle house
and they breathe its pots and pans,
its red and blue buckets and pieces of wood
in and out of the cavity
as though it were a lost tooth: slosh of debris
through the gap, corrugations of roof in the gum
and the sea is busy at the wound
and the sea is filling the mouth of the land
and the land cannot spit it out –
the unsteady, grey, Arctic sea
that must tell, must tell, of its waking
Jemma Borg won the International Ginkgo Ecopoetry Prize in 2018. She also won the RSPB/Rialto Nature and Place Competition in 2017 and is published in magazines including The Poetry Review and Oxford Poetry. She has a doctorate in evolutionary genetics and lives in East Sussex in England. Her first collection is The Illuminated World (Eyewear, 2014).