On Doubt / A Pair of Blue Eyes
after Thomas Hardy and Emma Gifford
Meeting changed our strata,
the way only a storm at the edge
of an ocean can do.
The way a slump of salt water
in a black cliff hole is a wet metronome
for desire and regret.
Blue milk sea and yellow gorse -
it is possible to be ambivalent
and beautiful at the same time.
Everything becomes an image
of our disharmonic foldings.
You hanging from the clifftop
in search of my jewels.
I should have guessed the houses
were crappy behind the waterfront
where the old lanes run deep, away
from the wind, under the pines.
Stacked tyres, fly-tipped white goods.
We are here for this
moment and we fuck
it up. Instead of making
like gregarious worms
in a world of Sabelleria reefs,
honeycombed in our detritus.
JLM Morton is winner of the inaugural Laurie Lee Prize 2022, and a writer and poet whose work is published in US and UK journals including The Poetry Review, The Rialto and most recently in the multidisciplinary ethnography Living With Water (Manchester University Press, 2023).