Written in the Sands

Lyrics from Old Dominion

Poesy inspired by a picture sent to me by Carol Dougherty

Posted by Kevin Flint on Nov 11, 2017

A future written in the sand

Photograph kindly presented by Carol Dougherty

In reflecting upon the image and in preparing to write some poesy that reflects the event that created it I wanted to connect the impossible play of the monstrous arrivant with our everyday world of social relationships. My earlier blog sought to explore a little of the philosophy behind this connection.


Sitting here in Hathersage I refer to this work as our poesy because I wish to evoke a space for active play, an impossible space without boundaries. The notion of poesy, it seems to me, gives expression to an ever-active practice, both involving and reflecting the contribution of others, and the Other, in the cultivation of such an idiom. 


In one sense, perhaps, too often, it seems to me, that traditional poetry is ever at risk, in constituting its own analytical forms, customs and conventions, of delimiting our experiences and losing the sense of the impossible, ever at play in our earth-world. What really concerns me is that poesy should at least attempt to open space for our visceral experience - a liminal space that fills and washes over and refreshes the soul, the flesh, the body... in a multiplicity of different ways with the ever-unfolding im-possibilities of everyday existence.



along the sands of time,

its tidal orchestra

its waves

whipped up by the winds

from the north-west,

rush in,

falling onto the sands,

with rhythmic bumps.

Let’s follow one wave,

riding up

over the beech,

before that momentary still,

a moment of silence,

sliding back into the sea

with that familiar swish.

A recognisable pattern

of sounds


deep in the body,

its soul

reaching out


into the dark unknown.


for any morsel,

any drift left from the waves,

something to surprise

its visitors.

The wind

gifting the living sea

with its many voices,

its many hues,

blues, greys and browns,

its yelp and howl

its movement,

over the glistening

wet sands.

The sea,

an ever moving,

im-possible to know,

sublime dark well,

quite un-drinkable,

marking one side of our path.

The other,

sands, dunes and hardy grasses,

grasping for life

on this salty desert,

only ever bounding our pathway,

to the extent, we hold

its form

as a shoreline.


pulled towards those

darkening seas,

the impossibility,

of uncovering

the monstrous arrivant,

fuels the soul,

with fear and expectation,

driving it

here and there.


that sinuous natural symmetry,

the pattern of lines,

carved momentarily

by the sublime art

of the sea;

the monstrous arrivant,

having disappeared

leaves its many possibilities.

A few of its cargoes:

a broken boot, a large pine log,

and a small piece of green glass,

litter the sands.

This one photograph,

in appearing to preserve

that rich,

sinuous symmetry

of lines in the sand,

a singular place,

ever vulnerable;

becomes soon washed away.

The monstrous arrivant

has already gone. 


ever invisible to the eye,

unlike the past,

laid bare

on the coastline of the present,

the future

pictured as the secret

in those waves flooding up

over the shores of time,

sounds its own alarm bell

without a word spoken,

gifting us with the secret,

costing nothing,

but its own humbling reminder,

of the powers of the impossible,

of le arrivant,

in making possible these words,

making possible

the Other,

making possible 

that hot visceral flush

of being with an-other,

a sign of its im-possibility.

Writing in the sands,

the future

already gone,

invites nothing less

than our hospitality

without condition.

Kevin Flint, 10th November 2017

I hope you've enjoyed the poesy. Your thoughts, feelings, suggestions, ideas, commentary are most welcome. We look forward to hearing from you. 


Have something to say? Comment on this post