Saltings - a poem by Steve Griffiths - Halen Môn

To celebrate the beginning of 2018, the Year of the Sea in Wales, we asked Steve Griffiths, our favourite local poet, if we could share his beautiful piece entitled ‘Saltings.’

The taste that sea-salt
opens up:
its slow, white
from the blue.

The taste you thought
just out of reach,
the memory you find
you never knew you’d lost.

Sardines newly caught on the beach.

Add seasalt to risotto.
It pulls you in towards
a chorus of ingredients,
the memory of sea
beneath them
as they make their entrance
and they sing,
the sea-bass
thrumming in the undertow
taut as a bass-string.

Sea-salt summoned
where the hawthorns lean
right over
under the determined
salt wind:
when you were little
it would hold you up
if you leaned
back on it.
The pleasure of the gust
sustained: blow, wind,
hold my body
upright, trusting,
behind me the west,
my lips awakened
to its taste.

Once you ran to keep up
with a moving column
of sunbeams, listening
for the washing’s crack
on the line,
the whip of sails.

Sheets hung out
on billows of Atlantic
wind. At night
they will enfold
your child’s dreams
of salt, of scales

Something brought in
from far out
where the sea churns,
runs, dances
into space, pulled
by the moon that brooks
no refusal.   Crystals
of seasalt glisten
up from a dish,
light without eyes
snagged on a sightline.
Just the salt and the moon:
unconsummated recognition.
They’re miraculous,
those eyes that lock
across a meal
amid the blind
whisperings of light.

Steve Griffiths’  latest collection of poems, Late Love Poems, is out now.
Image: our friends Liz and Max H Hamliton 

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