At Readwritepoem this week we were invited to write poems honouring vowels. My first thought was the letter o, which has always seemed the most poetic to me. There are so many "o" words I love, such as ocean, sorrow, willow, follow, not to mention crow.
However, I have put the letter "o" aside for another time, as I wanted to challenge myself by exploring another letter. I started making lists of "i" words and when I thought of "islands" I was hooked.
Homage to the Letter "i"
The least of letters, it is familiar
to the inhabitants of islands
thin thread in the white ocean
of the page, dotted like a rock in the tide
on which sea bird shit,
while their cries of krik krik krik
hang in the air.
We live in the littoral zone,
migrants washed up with the drift
bits and pieces discarded by sailors
ships' rigging, sticks and string.
Twined lines of bull kelp
litter the shore. Spined fragments of kina.
A pied stilt steps over rusting links
of an anchor chain. It stitches the sand
with its beak, in and out, in and out,
probing for pipis. The wind whips our hair.
We eye the horizon, rim of the Pacific,
do not flinch at the sting of salt.
(I think the second half still needs a little work. I found it quite a challenge to use sufficient "i" words and still have it read well. But, it's much improved on where it was a couple of days ago.)