Thinking out loud in no particular order when two Haenyo come sit near me on the beach

Continuing to think out loud. For anyone not familiar with Haenyo
it is the name of the native women divers of Jeju island, who forage for sea creatures. Look them up. They fascinate.

2 women divers, sharing the burden of what seems
to be a lump of stone in a net
                                       pass me,
sat sulking with a 6 pack of beer on the pebbles.
The sky is dressed in matte grey, it suits it.
i’ve grown tired with stones & their complications.

i have spent 10 minutes swearing at the sea,
reading it lines of poetry, never a whole poem
as if in some act of spitefulness, thrown stones
& weird shaped shells, first singling out lacey crests
which just rebound the lunged stone, mischievously.

Today, i want to be a boy again, with my father,
finding skimmers (flat oval shaped stones
with perhaps a mica slick through the grain)
to skip off a placid pond seven times pushing for 8
— i miss him today, he’s in Florence on holiday.

The divers settle near me, divided by a rustic
chopping board, which looks as old as them,
spoon whorls of sea-meat out abalone shells
the size of children’s thumbs, dice & bag them
—they offer me a taste, but i’ve a gob full
of stones & know too well the taste
                                    of coldness in my mouth.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. kvennarad says:

    I’m always fascinated by a sky that says “Okay, if YOU don’t wear a coat, I will!” And with stone-play. Here’s a bloke with a gob full of ’em.

    1. Hyperbole is the best card i have in my deck.

      1. kvennarad says:

        I carry a couple in that suit up my sleeve.

  2. Great atmospheric piece, Daniel, feels poignant and personal. 👏

    1. One thing about being a foreigner in a foreign land, who knows a bit of the lingo & also knows the places where the locals go, is that sometimes you get to have these moments that you just got have back home, as you say “personal”. Yes of course it is not to deny the experiences of our homeland, but there is something different about turning a foreign experience & turning a home experience into poetry, i sound silly, but it is only due to my seldom being able to write about England & yet so much comes to me here in Korea. On that basis, i base my observation.

      1. Doesn’t sound silly to me, all our perceptions are filtered by our mind and mind-set, that changes with the environment and I think even with the language we speak at the time. 🙂

      2. A different environment really does alter you, i can attest to that. Going back home or looking at Western culture through an Asian lens you get differing perspectives on our behaviour. Eating is an obvious one that comes to mind & work ethic.

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