by Wael Al-Mahdi (2011).  A poem inspired by an oft recurring dream theme.  It is a picture, frozen in words, of one aspect of a prolific unconscious.


My constant affliction -which seizes with sere conscience

A poet’s soul; when the sun, at its zenith, and the night, in recess

Ghastly images unfold, like chapters of misery-

Is wading into the sea, being swept by the winds

Which rage towards the open.  Becoming the waves’ ward

Which at first carry my weight; then with divine indifference

Cavalierly let go, neither for form, nor life, caring.

I sink into the layers of waters consolidated

With fateful design, like a forsaken plummet.

The viscous deep portends primordial oblivion:

It, with repeated blows, persistent, expels

Hope from its shell, like a discarded sea-creature

At the end of its tether.

Thus this godless enormity blows out  human normalcy,

Like a candle – a small fire god, losing its cadence -

Fell mum, in sheets of rhythmic rain.

The expansive sea, its life-giving equalled

Only by its wont to end life wantonly:

Mother to flesh, father to matter,

Granting, as surely as it claims;

Counting in its drama, and claiming as its own

The birth and rebirth of sovereign gods;

Nor disdaining to suckle from its watery udders

Those humblest, yet most prodigal, primary animals.

Who has not had drenched nightmares -

in this prime womb – of aquatic dissolution?

The winds, meanwhile, with deliberate blows -

Blowing where they list – rack my sodden soul

With many-fold arms, now intent, now feigning aloofness

With the will  to fell my bowed legs from under;

How petty, how full with ill mind

Must nature be, to set its wrath on a single man?

Terror unabated it has apportioned me

With fear and trembling of a godless horizon

And constant checks with a restive eye

For imminent dangers, with evil impeding.

With what to crown its wanton horror

Than with terrors withdrawn, and threats unresolved?

For, though at close quarters, the choppy wind

And outstretched sea, their ultimatum rescind

Pulling back, at the teetering moment

Where victory was at point of consummation.

These dreams, find I, do constantly inspire -

Like their mother and medium, nature itself -

A picture of the borderline, of entropy frozen

At critical moment, its hands eternally bound

From wreaking further destruction.

Thus stands on its own merits my fey predicament

In majestic arrogance, refusing to be judged

Itself, with cosmic mantle, judging inferior

All who would recklessly pronounce a judgment.

Nature, obstinate, neither lending full leash

To insensate death; nor, in its fickleness,

Granting full licence to the full genius of life.



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2 Responses to The Sea Winds

  1. jean raffa says:

    Thank you for letting me know about this post. I enjoyed reading the previous one as well and will be adding your blog to my blogroll. It seems we have much, at least in the way of temperament, in common. I suppose the human ego will always struggle against our mother, nature — by which I mean not only matter but our own unconscious natures with their instincts and dreams, which are, of course, facts of nature — even though our only hope of rest comes from making peace with her. Your poem is an elegant testament to her omniscience.


  2. admin says:

    Thanks for adding my blog to your blogroll, Jean. And I’m glad that we have much in common – it makes it easier to understand certain very specific experiences, and to understand what the ‘mother’ is, in psychologicis.

    Your interest in the Mother is informative and enlightening.

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