Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Storm brewed poetry

Erosion: a sonata in c major

The Isthmus joins the cut-off limbs of two ancient continents. Or rather one continent –Gondwana - with the oceanic floor of Iapetus. And when it’s not shrouded in fog, you can see two bays, one on either side of the Isthmus, crowding it with water, testing its rocky limits. The area is strewn with erratics, boulders that were plucked, carried and dropped by a retreating glacier, the erosive force of glacial ice. Now these erratics perch on rounded highlands, deep base notes grounding an ethereal landscape.

From Chance Cove to Western Point at the bottom of Trinity Bay the coastline, a symphony in rock. On a quiet sea, kelp gardens below the cliffs sway a lullaby, cobbled beaches drip arpeggios, and sea caves belch in timpanic splendour. Narrow sea arches, steep and chiseled, sing arias if tuned in a northwesterly.

Parabolic, sinuous, curved, blow-out.
Dry, harsh, parched, draining.
Burgeo Sandbanks, Gooseberry Cove, Windmill Bight. The changing tempo of wind keeps their sand dunes limber, the synergy of granular timbre. These prized spots of erosive excess.

copyright 2005 Alison Dyer
(first published in Newfoundland Quarterly, summer 2005)


Tina Chaulk said...

Nice to see a new voice on the NL blogging scene. I look forward to your posts and pictures.

John Mutford said...

Very verbose.

squidink said...

Is that good, bad, or ugly, John? not sure, but thanks for posting. A

John Mutford said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
John Mutford said...

It ain't good.

lapetus, isthmus, erratics, ethereal, timpanic, arpeggios, arias, sinuous, etc

Walt Whitman once addressed the "Learn'd Astronomer" about sucking the magic out of the night sky. It's a shame you sucked the magic out of those beautiful photos, and with poetry!

I think your overly grand words did nature an injustice. At best it makes you look like you own a thesaurus, at worse like you're a poseur.

You may have published a lot, but you'd think you'd know that the fanciest words aren't always the best words.

(So I guess you can file my comments under "ugly")

squidink said...

not a thesaurus, dear John, just a knowledge of the physical landscape. so these are not grand words so much as they are, well, simply accurate. Ah, you could always try Goodnight Moon.

John Mutford said...

Ooops, typo. "Worse" should have read "worst". My mistake.

Esther Oosterbaan said...

Heeey Alison!

I love your blog, especially the poems. Wonderful how you weave music into the descriptions. Great picture of yourself! Thanks for letting me know about this.

squidink said...

Thanks Esther,look forward to seeing yours sometime, with all your wonderful paintings of the west coast.

Elizabeth Yeoman said...

Lapetus, isthmus, erratics, ethereal, timpanic, arpeggios, arias, sinuous are beautiful beautiful words. Dylan Thomas wrote somewhere that for a word to be beautiful it has to SOUND beautiful, no matter what its actual meaning is. But those words qualify both for the actual sound and for the meanings. I love them.

squidink said...

Thank you Elizabeth, you have articulated most eloquently my own feelings about these words.

David Benson said...

What's a "poseur"? Is it something like a poisson? I should think a kayaker looked more like a whale than a fish. Regardless, I loved your photographs and I've seen coastline on five continents.
"Sonata" was beautiful. The poet lifted our eyes with language.
Thank you

David L. Benson

squidink said...

'the poet lifted our eyes with language,' beautifully put David. Thank you so much for your posting. To have seen the coast of five continents and to know this one is an incalculable reward in itself. Alison

Anonymous said...

Thanks Alison. Such a beautiful blog. I miss Newfoundland so much and your photos and words carried me back to the island. Oh, but so briefly. More please. Kip

squidink said...

Dear Kip - how wonderful to hear from you. I'll be sure to add more photos of this 'marvellous terrible' place to this blog to entice you back. Its Avalon, after all! Alison