Mark Tredinnick / Poetry


So why is it when I wake
                                   beside this Cornish sea, my tongue
Is as tired as it only gets to be, lost in deep,
Prolonged and riotous discourse with thee? My sleep
Has been as eloquent, it seems,
                                   as the breeze that trafficked my window all night,
As busy as the sea at her six-metre rise and fall across the shingle
Of the shore. Seabirds wake me late, stealing back in strident sunlight
Songs—sea shanties, lullabies—that slaked me while I slept.
                                                     And the dreams in my mouth on waking—
Though I remember none of their sweet filibuster, none
Of the exquisite slow coming to so many disparate points—
My dreams are salted
                                   with you and fragrant
With longing for the sea
That tossed me in her bed and used my tongue
Like bladder wrack and left me shipwrecked
At half-eleven in her lap.

© Mark Tredinnick

In Easter 2013, I stayed in a small village on the coast of North Cornwall, and one morning I woke in the manner this sonnet describes. It’s a sonnet of love, softly raunchy, I guess, and the love it speaks is as much for a place as for a beloved. My name is Cornish; my father’s people came to Australia from ‘there in the 1840s, and my time on that coast, a break in the midst of a reading tour, was in part a longing for connection. The opening lines of the poem came with the dream; they were on my tongue, which ached with them, on waking. I walked in cold winds that day all along the coast, and the rest of the sonnet spoke itself up through my boots and into my journal as I took the coast path.There are rhythms and there is a speech music in this sonnet that I found irresistible from my stay, just before, in Wales. Mark Tredinnick

© Mark Tredinnick

© Mark Tredinnick

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