The Letter Always Arrives at its Destination (1st prize: 2013 Competition)

Then I wrote often to the sea,

to its sunk rope and its salt bed,

to the large weed mass lipping the bay.


The small glass bottles would be lined

along the bedroom floor – ship green

or church-glass clear – such envelopes


of sea-mail. Only on the day

of sending would a note be fed

into each swollen, brittle hull –


I had my phases: for so long

it was maps: maps of wader nests,

burrows and foxes dens, maps where


nothing was in its true position –

my landscape blooming from the surf.

Later, I’d write my crushes’ names


onto the paper, as a small gift.

The caps then tested and wax sealed.

None ever reached my dreamed America,


its milk-white shore, as most would sink

between the pier and the breakwater,

and I would find that I had written


about the grass to the drowned sand,

again; and to the sunken dark,

I had sent all the light I knew.