Watching the Waves

Watching the Waves
Author | Emma Lee

The wave looks clear
where it turns over shingle,
pulls itself in and up to its fullest height
before discharging again.

Each time slightly less than before.
It leaves a damp line of sparkle
that contrasts with the drab,
sun-beached pebbles
left by earlier waves.

I can’t explain why I’m drawn, hypnotically
to its simple movement,
lift, bend, discharge, repeat.

It’s rhythm unaltered by the breeze,
unaltered by the splash of nearby children.
The sun’s warmth must mean
some infinitesimally small
recalibration is required.
It doesn’t break.
It makes reflected light dance.

Tonight it will creep up the beach
to the high tide mark
before receding back to open sea.

But the remnants of a hurricane out over the Atlantic
could turn it violent,
push it to smash against the sea front,
with a roar louder than storm warnings,
it could smash in windows,
tow cars, dismantle a railway,
reclaim land
shift our illusion of control.

About the Author |Emma Lee ‘s most recent collection is “Ghosts in the Desert” (IDP, UK, 2015), she co-edited “Over Land, Over Sea: poems for those seeking refuge” (Five Leaves, UK, 2015), reviews for The High Window Journal, The Journal, London Grip and Sabotage Reviews and blogs at

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