Two Poems By Terence Culleton

In That The Sea Embraces Everything

Here from where
the tide receded
hours ago,

the sand is bare
and coarsely kneaded
as cookie dough.

A kid treks by
with a fishing pole
and bucket, whaler’s hat

quaint—the sky
is nothing but charcoal,
it’s so cloudy that

though umbrellas shake
Gordian tassels
above, behind

a few last wave-raked
lumps of castles,
I’m resigned

to no sun today:
which isn’t half
bad upon a thought—

I’m not here to play,
God knows, nor for a laugh,
nor to get caught

up dreaming I’m free:
I’m here, really, to face
all that’s been lost on

me—alone—the sea
the only place
it could have gone.

My bleared and skeptic eyes
refuse to close—then do—
and now I realize
what can’t be true is true.

Eyes fuse to close, then do.
I see a green lagoon.
What can’t be true is true:
music under the moon.

A sea, a green lagoon.
I hear the pips and toots
of music under the moon:
pipes and penny flutes.

I hear the pips and toots
here where you cannot be:
pipes and penny flutes,
and you, you here with me,

here where you cannot be:
a ceaseless, windless lull,
and you, you here with me.—
The tide rides in at full,

the ceaseless, windless lull
is singing, and I realize
the tide rides in—at full—
my bleared and skeptic eyes.

Terence Culleton has published three collections of formally crafted narrative and lyric poems, A Communion of Saints (2011) and Eternal Life (2015), both with Anaphora Literary Press, and a collection of fifty-four English sonnets, A Tree and Gone, just out through Future Cycle Press. A Tree and Gone is available at or through his website,, where you can also purchase his other books, read his blogs on poetry, and keep up with his breathlessly exciting life as a writer.

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