Friday, January 3, 2020

Witch of Tides

Witch Of Tides

I. The Wet

I cannot be
the Witch of Tides
with her greenalive
and mutable eyes
with her wavefoam curls
her saline sighs,
but only the constant
Crone of death's dust
where all things fall
because they must
when they've bled out to nothing
their sweet salt blood.

We meet in that place
neither sea nor shore;
the liminal wing, the liquidless pour
not wave nor field nor barren waste,
only a dead god's breathing face
on which we stand, the Witch and I
where three winds vie
to make the storm of rattle and fly
where the veil is rent,
where One and the Other
can mingle unkempt.

I cannot be
the Witch of Tides
whose toy is life
whose palette is clouds
whose hand is so wet,
but only the Crone of a
soft and dry
and whimsical

II. The Dry

Yet her blackened
inversion am I,
with my sandy surf
of dead glass and dry
pushed and rolled
like a moving eye,
tho the sweat that's brought
is the only salt
except alkali.

We both have our wrecks
of sphinxes and ships,
of stones and decks,
of cities buried
with a murderer's care,
a privacy to the ones we hide,
shrouded in the swirl of our hair
as their world dies;

and who is to say
of the wet or the dry,
which was the Maiden
which was the Bride,
the constant Crone
or the wild Witch of Tides?

~October 2015
Reposted January 2020 
for earthweal

Though it may seem strange to post an old poem to such a brand new site, this one simply selected itself from my memory banks, so I hope I will be excused for letting it have its way. In its own equivocal voice, perhaps it addresses some aspects of the weal of the earth.

Top Image via internet; author unknown. Manipulated. No copyright infringement intended.
Great Sphinx and Pyramids, circa 1890 via wikimedia commons
Manipulated. Shared under a Creative Commons License


  1. I love its language and the images evoked, and I think it fits perfectly the mood we've been creating here so far – while adding your own magical nuances.

    Who is to say, indeed, when both are past and the end is long over?

  2. Weal is an odd word, duple in the sense of both harm and boon, a well that wheels ... "Witch of Tides" is a great fetch from the tides of your work, a modern mind battling and beckoning its ancient sources. (What are we gonna do?). The metric is strict as hedgespell, ticktock, ticktock, the rhymes perfect additions--water newt, desert crow-- to the brew: And the evaluations--which I read as revolving vatic personas whose polarity is eros and thanatos, love (wet joys) and dry death-- leave me to wonder what do we really know about these critters we call words, and the nightwork they carry out under our magisterial eyes. Anyhoo, so happy to see this at earthweal, the difficult is where we find the possible. And thanks for adding a location to the link, I can't help envisioning a Dorothy singing astride a dark rainbow ...

  3. " I cannot be...yet her blackened inversion..."

    I do so like the voice who contrasts what will never be with what is.

  4. I love the Witch of Tides, the last stanza in particular.I also reposted an old poem for this new site. It seemed fitting with current events. Sadly, some things are eternal on this planet we call Earth.

  5. I am reading this as a storm gathers above my head, the thunder and lightning a suitable accompaniment to these lines.
    The flow of thought in lines and images is superb, with the echo of rhymes and the voice of the witch to add to the outstanding dimensions of this piece.

  6. Oh Joy! "The constant Crone of death's dust / where all things fall because they must". Wonderful! This poem reads like an incantation. I absolutely love it. I also like the idea of linking our name along with our location, I will start doing that too in this forum.

  7. Ah, friend. The Gemini in me loves the duality in this, even down to the complementary segments. "Dry" especially struck me as you writing at the the level where you leave the rest of us sucking our thumbs in the poetic dust. I know you did not mean "decks" this way, but I thought Tarot decks, which seemed to fit just as well. And "with a murderer's care"...stop, just stop and give the rest of us a chance, wouldya? So glad you reposted this darkly sparkling bit of obsdidian, dear.

  8. It's as if two souls are in conversation & each has so much to offer.

  9. This is so rich, so many images that revolve!

  10. Crone/Witch, surf/sand, intertwined and powerful despite protestations


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats