This book is no longer in print. Nearly all of the poems are now contained in RIVER FLOW: New & Selected Poems


In these waves
I am caught on shoulders
lifting the sky

each crest
breaks sharply
and suddenly rises

in each steep wall
my arms work in the strong movement
of other arms

the immense energy
each wave throws up with hand outstretched
grabs the paddle

the blades flash
lifting veils of spray as the bow rears
terrified then falls

with five miles to go
of open ocean
the eyes pierce the horizon

the kayak pulls round
like a pony held by unseen reins
shying out of the ocean

and the spark behind fear
recognized as life
leaps into flame


always this energy smoulders inside
when it remains unlit
the body fills with dense smoke.

- David Whyte