Ice on the Beach

One single sheet of sprung light.
Touched here with the toe of your boot
it hurts in a distant part.

Dream stuff, with its own internal acoustic.
Striking it with a stick raises
a shocked note, a white bruise under the skin -

the physiology of ice on sand
is strange, we have not mapped it.
The sea can only scorch the edge.

This whole bay is locked
under a lid of referred pain.
At one end, a tanker

nudges out of the rivermouth.
In its wash, the ice shelf
barely shivers.

But thirty miles south,
in another town, it creaks
under the pier, where someone kneels,

staring down like a god
through a damaged sky, onto a wilderness
of ridges and blue shadows.


copyright © Jean Sprackland 2005, used by permission of the author

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Recordings

Jean Sprackland

Jean Sprackland Reading from her Poems

1Note from the Outside

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2Hard Water

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3Fibre Optics

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4Reading Leaves

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5The Apprentice

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6The Currency of Jellyfish

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7The Light Collector

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8The Room of Saints and Virgins

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9Seacoal

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10Losing the Dark

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11Holy

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12No Man's Land

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13Barbie on the Roof

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14Lovell Radio Telescope, Jodrell Bank

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15The Hairdresser's Across the Street

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16And They All Lived Happily Ever After

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17A Baby in the Filing Cabinet

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18Before There Were Weather Forecasts

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19Caravan

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20The Man who Comes to Empty the Bottle Bank

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21Shocks

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22A Hangman's New Career

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23The Mission

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24An Old Friend Comes to Stay

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25Everything Must Go

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26Shadow Photograph

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27Learning to Love Money

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28Teaching Frogs to Fly

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29Deadnettle

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30In the Planetarium

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31Radio Silence

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32Tattoos for Mothers' Day

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33Ice on the Beach

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34You

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35Physics

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36Spilt

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37Underfire

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Books by Jean Sprackland