Sunday, April 18, 2010

108. Tidings of great joy


Draft 1 (169 words)

Carried on the invisible forces of wind and tide, the salt sweeps up the dunes and across the battered Swamp Banksias and the wizened acacias. Swathes of sodden sand bare its glossy nakedness to the momentarily receding wave. Drier sand patches intersperse, strained through muslin until blanched. Periwinkles litter the slithery sand, waiting for the tumbling waves to return them to the protection of the seething breakers. Moment by moment, the waves become greedier and tentacles reach up the beach, hungrily devouring all in its path. Weed, stone, wood and shell alike are in the target zone.

Further up the beach, before the line of dune grasses, where the levelling tide does not reach, where the pounding waves do not tumble, the sand is light and dry, dented by myriad footmarks. The scalloped edge of foamy wave tosses a tangle of olive green, leathery sea-weed up the beach where it dries slowly in the sun, gradually releasing its hold on life.

A microcosm of time between life and death.

Draft 2

Carried on insistent, invisible forces of wind and tide,
salt air sweeps over a crescent of ancient coast
wizening further stumpy banksias and battered acacias.
Pockets of sodden sand bare a glossy nakedness
to the momentarily receding ocean’s anger.
Drier patches pant, strained through muslin,
a myriad bubbling nostrils.

Periwinkles litter the slithery sand,
beseeching searching waves to return them
to deeper, protective channels.
Momentarily, waves become greedier,
tentacles reach high up the smooth beach,
hungrily devouring all in their domain,
glass, grit, stone, wood and shell alike.

Further up the beach, before the line of dune grasses,
where the levelling tide does not reach,
where the pounding waves do not tumble,
the sand is light and dry, pocked by many footprints.
A scalloped edge of foam once tossed
Tangled sinews of olive, leathery sea-weed,
Which wither now, slowly, releasing all hold.

Straddling life, ancient coast relinquishes through time.

4 comments:

diane said...

I like number two best. It is easier to read and the topic lends itself better to a shape poem.

Janet said...

Number 2 for me, too. Although I liked number one - you captured the tide's actions and effects very well (I love walkin on the beach and could relate well to your 'landscape'). Number 2 just had something more!

I think, Julie, with your decision to try different ways of writing (as shown here and most effectively in the tugboat riff), you're giving a great lesson in 'voice'. What feels best for you, what reads easily for us, is your 'voice'. A great way to develop and nurture how you present words to your readers.

Grandma said...

Oh yes, number two gets my vote as well. I was pleased to hear that my comment had a small part in inspiring use of your poetic version.

Joan Elizabeth said...

Most definitely number 2 ... it's beautiful.

As I was reading number 1 if loved the imagery but it seemed to overload the prose much too much.

When put into verse the beatiful images flow one upon the other lifting the experience not bogging it down.

Fascinating what the difference in form does. Great stuff. thanks for including the two drafts.