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THE CALL

Sing me up a good storm. Teach me to raise
a wild zephyr from a sun-bleached cottage

lost in fog on the red coast. I can gaze
in a pool to tell your fortune. A bridge

over flowing water is good shelter
from those who would do you harm. But sea-salt

and dried kelp are mysteries. Seafarer
I am not. I’m a child of bones, asphalt

and books, not brine and pink conch. There are flies
on my breasts and my dreams do me no good.

Shells, types of water, the winds; I go down
in my dreams to the bone-crushing depths, rise

into … what? But it calls. The tide, driftwood,
the sea.
If I cannot learn I will drown.

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NINE WAVES MAGIC

“Utilize the power of the Nine … this spell works best if you cast it on the 9th hour of the 9th day of the 9th month of the year — September 9th at 9 am.” – taken from The Book of Tides.

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This gray magic of yours from the ocean,
it is neither white nor black; like petrel

bones and shark teeth, it just is. A foreign
concept for those who think only evil

and good make up this world. Sea witchery
must be older than all that; since all life

came from powers that we blithely call sea.
I’ve read tales of the sea-gypsy, fish-wife

and storm-hag, mostly they’re patronizing
since they deal with women of the wild waves;

but they’re the teachers that I need to find.
Somewhere beyond the horizon’s fading

safety let me drift in a boat called Grave’s
End;
taught by those that the land has maligned.

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“The sand dollar with its perfect 5-pointed star, Nature’s pentagram.” – taken from The Book of Tides.

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THE RESPONSE

Left at the water’s edge, all that’s been blessed;
gray tools to use if only I knew how.

Winter’s North Wind, Summer’s South. Autumn’s West,
Spring’s East. Shark’s rib. The tooth of a sea-cow.

Flow and ebb, High and Low tide. Fog. Lightning.
Abalone. Clam. Welk. Nautilus. Cockle.

Cowry. Fish hook. Ti leaf. Sea glass. Kelp ring.
Sailor’s knot. Bladderwrack. Ash twig. Coral.

Offerings made into a Book of Tides.
This is as far as I can go. Beyond

this I don’t belong, yet. The sea’s deep gate,
all your tremendous dark, requires guides.

Who will help me fashion my driftwood wand?
I wait. Like all strangers and gods, I wait.

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note:

The Book of Tides is an online resource that I highly recommend. Someday I hope to learn what the nine waves in Nine Waves Magic actually are.