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John Tustin

Words That Drown in the Tide


Day upon day I roll up the papers

As if little scrolls.

These papers contain facets and reflections

Of the love for her

That I have extracted from my heart

And converted into words

Along with my sadness, disappointment,

Hope and courage.

I place the papers in little bottles.

I cover the opening with a cork – watertight.


I ply the words at night and in the day

I fill the bottles and pray

They get to her.


I drop them into the water from the cliff where I dangle

In the relentlessness of the sun

And Ploop!

They are gone

With the current

To be found by her and either saved

Or allowed to pass

To become more words

That drown in the tide.


Does she even go to the ocean

To await them?


I close my eyes and see her now in my imagining:

Sitting upon a rock on the shore with a net,

The moon shining upon her water-misted skin,

The brine smell twisting in her windsoaked hair.

I see her hand hesitating,

Her eyes deciding

Whether my words are deserving

To be rescued

Or not..