‘Dark is a way and light is a place’
—Dylan Thomas

On the island I decided
I didn’t really like,
I lay beside you one night
and listened to the ebb-less tide
pull and drag me through the silent
corridors and empty lawns,
across the stacked sun-beds,
the tidy pool, till panic set in.
What if the sea really can take you
over to the harbour and beyond
to the boats night fishing?

A pod of light moves in the darkness
as one man or another
casts his nets upon
the steady water
and keeps going, further and further,
to where I can only see,
through billowing curtains,
in the garish villas
at the edge of a cliff,
a glimpse of life.

Shadows criss-cross
in the other hotel
and a light flicks on or off,
as someone mooches about,
sleepless and agitated
by this tidal surge
of a night sea journey
that closes on the incomplete
silence of pampas grass
swaying at the ocean’s side
where you walked
in the afternoon heat.

Now swaying in and out
of sleep this airless night
are the same pictures called
to your mind as to mine—
the perilous pine forest road
winding around the mountain top,
and what about this tide
turning over and over
at the back of my mind?
In your own place, I bet,
the light is slowly breaking.
Sea birds trail the last man in;
souls awakening.