When the axis of my swelling heart’s geometry fractures
Her ruptured pact with gravity like pavement split by an ardent sun
I hear the sea
Inside the engorged crescendo of despair’s symphony
Inside my aria of solitude
I hear the sea

When the salty butter drips from my toast and my tea is sweet and bitter
And when the sleeping dog sighs at my feet
I ride the sea

When the bullying sky falls like a fireman’s blanket
Stifling the breath of my smouldering rage
Inside the sweltering tears that blister my naïve skin
I storm the sea

When I am Narcissus hunting myself in a glassy pool
That grants only the ringed wake of my finger’s intrusion
And when I am Narcissus stalking my shadow, at least
Inside a mute’s cry and braille to the skinless
I roar the sea

When the needle of my fragile compass stalls
My points of reference abruptly unreadable
And when I am unthought, finally
The discrete idioms of my wits’ scattered parts indecipherable
Inside my gibberish of muttering
I wail the sea

This poem was inspired by a wonderful piece of music I heard many years ago as I was approaching Cremona in Lombardy at dusk on a summer evening full of longing. It was on RAI’s world music programme, and it took me a year to find the disc The Sea by Ketil Bjornstad, Jon Christensen, David Darling and Terje Rypdal.