On sculptural figures
Looking out to sea
after Antony Gormley: Another Place, Crosby Sands
All Gormley’s kin each is his own man.
The local children call one Jeff.
They drown every day.
Like gods they have no smiles.
Sometimes Titian or Hockney
will paint them a dawn and,
when the tide recedes, jellyfish land
at their feet like green glass plates.
I watch as seagulls perch on their shoulders,
mirror their gaze, ask: Why stare so hard?
But they’re not letting on, their eyes fixed
as though they can’t bear to look down.
I persist: According to Frost nothing
we’re searching for is out far or in deep?
Their silence is deeper than the sea. I make
a final bid for conversation, tell them this:
I can see what’s happening behind you.
There’s no turning back.
First Prize Write by the Sea Competition, 2018