I also have a poem in the 2020 DYB:
Sea blues (old and new)
I was an exile from the sea for many years
somewhere where no sea breezes could blow,
no salt rime fog glass, no sand invade
sandals and sandwiches. On this island Britain
you cannot get further from the sea
whichever way you travel than where
my life beached. My soul shrivelled.
I took each opportunity I could to return
to the sea’s salt lick, so its lithe power
could rehydrate tissues desiccated from the lack of it.
I spent my holidays on Grecian islands
surrounded by the sea, where the light is
pure and clear and clean. Where I could
suck up the colours of the Aegean, reciting
them in my head (and now here): turquoise, azure,
Prussian, cobalt, sapphire, bottle green,
aquamarine, jade and eau de nil ;
writhing sea mists there are baby blue
so pale they’re almost white; sometimes a pinkness
marks the edges between land and sea,
pale as Aphrodite’s veil of thinnest stuff.
Now the sea is just a few steps from
my English seaside home. It lubricates my life.
It breathes in and out like I do, with every wave and tide.
I see it every day. Each morning. Every night.
I greet it like the old friend that it is.
For here are the blues I missed so much,
not quite as dazzling in our northern light.
These are more metallic hues
than I have loved in waters further south.
Here is the hammered pewter sea which lies
under a dull, still day. Storms whip up breakers
the colour of an iron bar, tipped with lace.
On nights of the full moon a liquid path
of mercury leads, like a siren’s song,
to the horizon. And sometimes, rarely –
magical enough to make me hold my breath –
there is a Lalique-lilac sea at twilight,
its tiny ripples motionless as glass.
My exile now has ended: I am home.