where the writers are
The Twain









On the east coast facing east -

On a west coast facing west - 

It is not ocean that separates

where nothing can happen but

disclosure, transition, in flight

or afloat, the bridging of gaps

by the famished and fugitive

from blighted crops and die-hard dogma,

with continents, long deluged,

forging a link in the chain,

while billows from the opposite shore

recoil from teasing display,

arc high, gathering momentum

and, in a blue-green crescendo

that flares with diamond spume,

crash on the jagged Celtic

littoral of the British Isles

in unbridled exultation.


It is not ocean that cleaves...



but the seething earth which parts coast

from coast, a landlocked tempest:

goldseekers congregate to plot

exploitation of its wealth

and mark out territory, asserting

the right to proliferate and

consume with wanton pride;

while they invent exclusive

customs, speak in cabbalistic

tongues with a multiplicity

of idioms, cadences, inflections

arranging an estrangement,

occasioning all manner of obstacles

that demand rites of passage,

bidding to conquer tribe and canyon,

as they push 'from sea to shining sea'.

It is not ocean that cleaves...


I hear the echoes in your voice,

as in a seashell singing of its element,

Of King Arthur and Tintagel,

Of Patrick, Fingal and Columba.

And, yes, oh yes, of Camelot! You breathe

the mellow iambs of my ancestral past,

the snapshot phrases and modulation

and scarcely altered accent of the

Mendips and Quantocks, Exmoor and Dartmoor,

where cream tastes of the world to come

and the blossom is of cider apples

rather than the cherry tree. The wooden

presses creak and leak and flow with the

memorial elixir of the Old Country,

allowing one thousand leagues of sea

to be forded in a single heartbeat.


It is not ocean that cleaves...


On the east coast facing east -

On a west coast facing west -



In fond memory of my grandfather, decorated for bravery in WW1, who was born at South Cadbury, Somerset, which, some whisper, is the legendary seat of Camelot.

 St Columba's Day, 2009