entry picture

Cliff face, fossils scattered, inchoate

Expanse of sea and sky and land

Edge beyond the vertigo, 

Above the empty space

The trilobites with their

 521 million year residency,

Lie under foot

We listen to the relentless

Crashing of the waves

The slow sliding of the tides.

Ruins, runes, remains:

Cliffs built upon a mountain of the dead

In time and space 

Human remains, a speck:

A fragment on the surface

Yet, like the sea, we roll on, 

Some try to turn back the tide,

Others despair and hide; 

I take heart

From the slow withdrawing roar of time's indifference

Children"s footprints in the sand

A zone of proximal development. 


◄ A ladder to the stars

Sepsis ►


Profile image

John Marks

Sat 14th Jul 2018 15:39

Thank you Cynthia. I'm always pulled in two directions: one to show how much we connect despite seeming differences but also to try to foreground the uniqueness of every moment; what Sir Thomas Aquinas called the quiddity of each individual thing, animate or inanimate.

I am always pleased to be helped by other poets. One of the reasons I adopted long lines, often divided by a caesura, was to bring out connections between 521m years ago and now and to raise questions in the reader's mind about evolution and the significance (or otherwise) of a human life.


Profile image

Cynthia Buell Thomas

Sat 14th Jul 2018 12:40

Well considered and well put. The imagery is excellent, the easy use of technical terms a delight.

Any reason why you did not keep to a format of shorter lines? It really doesn't matter how long a poem is. I'm genuinely interested.

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message