Michael Sharp

Sea Fret; Finistere, & Cold

Michael Sharp

Share Via:


Those who keen

By candlelight

Know the haar

Is an intrusion:

A fog of eels,

A forced tongue

In a red mouth,

Adders snatched

From a basket

Under the bed,

A thief flooding

The deep valley

With parched boys,

A lizard of salt

Where liquid girls

Float like spars.


Some fragments of a map,

One shard to mend a pot.

The language of hands

As touch intones on skin.

But if all this should go

In one accidental night,

Then no chart to show the way,

No water in the jug,

No remembrance of you,

The memory of others of you,

Nothing but a skirl of rocks,

An unhinged sea beyond.


Dawn breaks like bread

Soaked in ice as she slow-

Bleeds a pig in the yard.

The cold unfrocks her,

It numbs her like a mare

When the stallion's done

& snow falls on the carse

Like a salt-storm of fulmars

Drifting in from the firth.

Michael Sharp

Michael Sharp is Professor of English & Caribbean Studies at the University of Puerto Rico. He was educated in Britain and the United States and has a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Sharp's poetry has been published on both sides of the Atlantic, and he spends his time between San Juan and Glasgow. Most recently, he's had poems published in Gutter (Glasgow) and Crannog Magazine (Limerick).

More poems by this author: