Jean Sprackland

Image by Caroline Forbes

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


Jean Sprackland

Jean Sprackland Reading from her Poems

1Note from the Outside

2Hard Water

3Fibre Optics

4Reading Leaves

5The Apprentice

6The Currency of Jellyfish

7The Light Collector

8The Room of Saints and Virgins


10Losing the Dark


12No Man's Land

13Barbie on the Roof

14Lovell Radio Telescope, Jodrell Bank

15The Hairdresser's Across the Street

16And They All Lived Happily Ever After

17A Baby in the Filing Cabinet

18Before There Were Weather Forecasts


20The Man who Comes to Empty the Bottle Bank


22A Hangman's New Career

23The Mission

24An Old Friend Comes to Stay

25Everything Must Go

26Shadow Photograph

27Learning to Love Money

28Teaching Frogs to Fly


30In the Planetarium

31Radio Silence

32Tattoos for Mothers' Day

33Ice on the Beach





Books by Jean Sprackland