Force Ten

by Magnus Dixon

    “Some trees blown down, damage to buildings, high churning white sea.”

“They’re white horses,” you said,
as they cantered with manes of salt,
tossing their hooves in the breeze.
But tonight, I think, they are wolves.
Their rhythm gone under the wind,
howls shatter on sea-stained rocks
and I want to scream too – a long scream,
leaving me as dizzy as the spray,
cold sweat on strands of polypropylene –
urban wrack sheared from the bough
of a trawler, its iron lungs gasping
through surging wraths of storm.
In this light I believe old tales,
told by seamen in hazes of memory:
hyperbole clinging like barnacles
to old stories of the Leviathan,
its weary eyes like lanterns,
every sinew a log of ancient oak.
They wouldn’t feel it,
safe, cocooned in deep sea.
Safe, in nests of kelp and currents,
whilst at sea level dune-grass bows,
heaving a sodden surrender
and my notebook bleeds waterlogged graphite
as white wolves howl.