Poem 45: Sea waves

(The form selected for this week is an adaptation of the Vietnamese Luc bat. It is an adaptation of the poetic form because Vietnamese is a tonal language and it cannot be imitated in English. The syllable count and the rhyming pattern have been adhered to!)

Sea waves! Kinaesthetic
masterpiece! The earth’s trick to shine
hefty stones into fine
marble and, over time, transform
dull rock. Beauty is born
not in fierce forceful storms but slow,
quiet, gentle to and fro,
wave on wave, stop and go, hard grit.

Children ever question,
perpetual in their din and quest
to know. They prod and pest.
Their parents never rest at all;
but as the breakers fall
on stony shores to maul and grind,
Mum turns into diamond,
and Dad, wave-worn, refined forged iron.

20 thoughts on “Poem 45: Sea waves

  1. umashankar

    Bruce, it is a hauntingly beautiful poem. The ceaseless grinding of stones into marbles by the sea waves, the perpetually busy childhood and the hardscrabble lives of the parents who eventually turn into a diamond and a refined forge iron, lend an immortal and a poignant aura to the poem. I have never set eyes upon a ‘Luc bat’ before, but I have become an instant admirer.

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Thanks, Uma. I think the luc bat is a really good form – even given that it has to be adapted because of the tonal language. It’s as challenging to write as the ghazal! This poem I think is my favourite one I’ve written and probably the best!


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