A week of poems: Anne Kennedy’s ‘Island Bay has a new sea wall’

 

 

Island Bay has a new sea wall

 

 

The old sea wall was so grey

The new sea wall is so grey

 

The old sea wall was heavy as plutonium

The new sea wall is warm under my hand

 

Boats in the bay were from a painting

Boats in the bay wiggle their hips,

no-rhythm, they’re

white and nerdy

 

Old sea wall

New sea wall

 

Old sea wall met the sea like a fist bump.

Hello! Why, hello.

New sea wall fits with the sea

like lovers spooning

on and off

 

The old sea wall was a statue of a wall

The air trembles with sand and salt and light

 

There was the storm, the ravage, the pieces

 

Old sea wall was so Marguerite Duras

New sea wall is so Marguerite Duras

 

Old sea wall

New sea wall

 

Was curved like a public bar and Italian

fishermen leaned on it smoking

looking out to sea

New sea wall is so straight

glittering in the sun

 

Old sea wall was so wall

New sea wall is so new

 

After the storm the city council wanted

no wall at all!

Because all things

 

Old sea wall was so sea levels

New sea wall is so sea levels

 

The pieces, the people, the fight

 

Old sea wall was so gonesville

New sea wall is so concrete

so warm and gritty

island and sea

 

Old sea

New sea

 

 

©Anne Kennedy

 

 

 

 

 

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