Martin Robertson

Now and Then

A Wreck

These posts which stud

the sterile sand

were a ship once,

as swift and beautiful

at least as all ships are,

but caught by chance

or captained by a fool

drifting drove on this shore.

These are no ship.

When tide flows deep

round weedy timbers fish

smooth-threading pass.

Tide out, on bright

days children splash

in sea-pools at their base,

or climb them, sit,

look out to sea,

ships sliding by…

Rooted and green

these seem (though without roots,

without sap,

their greenness not their own),

seem the trees, almost,

that were before the ship,