The Dungbeetle's Grizzly poem for 1992.
Running loose on a shingle beach west of Branscombe, East Devon
others stretched in single file behind
each submerged in pebble-crunching worlds of their own.
A weak February sun peers cautiously from between parting sheets of drift-mist
uniting sky and sea
in showers of diffused droplet-sparkling light.
Ahead : a towering erosion-sliced cliff-face of sandstone and chalk
the summit formidably ashen, rises like a slide-show ice-mountain
seeking the deceptive shelter of a delicate lace-curtained sky.
Almost frozen by the scale of our surroundings
girdled by the embrace of our repetitious effort, we inch perceptibly forward
starkly aware of the contradiction between our perceived strength
and our microscopic frailty.
An invisible bond unites our line as it is wound forward, as if by some unseen hand.
The beach is shelved on several levels, each with its tide-line of flotsam;
to our right, at the base of the cliff, lies wreckage spewn up by the heaviest storms,
to our left the ebb-tide rock-pools stage dances of sunbeams on water.
The shimmering surfaces mesmerize a gaunt cormorant on sentry duty
lifeless as the silhouetted extension of the reef itself,
he dares not to react, knowingly safe enough from the furrow of our progress.
The divisions between many worlds relax their grip giving way to a flowing of energy.
The dance of light and life permeates the illusions of our imprisoned thoughts
breaching artificial barriers
weaving the ever unfolding patterns
that rule our world.
THIS IS FREEDOM, flowing and dancing over the bones of our daily lives.
A cacophony of crunching shingle floods the mind, drowning all muscle-bound anxiety.
Eyes of flight shimmer off to high, inaccessible cliff ledges
there to observe the scene with remote advantage.
The sense-tastes of the morning :
the acoustically hypnotic pebbles
the burning colour-scapes of iridescent, salt-laden air
and, not least,
the bond of the others' connected presence
- all combine sensuously, potently
releasing and flavouring dream-code messages
from parallel lives.
Spirits fly and play beyond the shores of aching limbs and navigational responsibility.
This is RUNNING BEYOND RUNNING, freedom in excessive, drunken quantity
life on Earth, knowing (gloriously)
many simultaneous identities
and, in them, rejoicing
© Dave Kelf, 1992