Esther Murbach – Low Tide, High Tide

poet2Esther Murbach, born in the middle of the 20th century, grew up in Basel and is living in Basel and Galway. She studied languages, history and philosophy in Basel and Berlin. She is a journalist and translator writing German and English. Since 2008 she has been a freelance author, published four novels, one short story collection and one poetry collection in Switzerland. In Ireland her work has appeared in The Galway Review, The Galway Review Anthology, The Galway Advertiser and Crannóg.

Low Tide, High Tide

Low tide in Cinn Mhara
dark slick at the head of the sea
boats stranded
like unemployed whales
with bellies exposed
in the mud of the harbour

Around a crowd gathered
sucking in
with the breath of impatience
the incoming tide
from the lazying ocean

Let Cruinniú na mBád begin!

Though, the ripples
take their time
to placidly creep up the shore
safe in the knowledge
that they’ll conquer the bay
as ever
at their very own rhythm

the rigged up hookers set sail
take off with the breeze
at incredible speed
into the magical afternoon light
a veiled sun teasing blue sky
pastel clouds in pursuit

With the water streaming
under tarred keels
come flooding back to me

The hookers’ sails flutter
red like my pain
black like my grief
white like untainted
sheets on my bed

The crafts
of old designed to bear loads –
could I will them
to drag along my burden
scattering it in their wake?

The shattering beep in my pocket
a text coming in
lets hope and fantasy fade

Only two words
“Just me”
and their private meaning
bring it all back
drive a new hook
into my heart
sticking there firmer
than any anchor
of any old hooker

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