Post-weekend Poetry 009: ‘When Time Is an Ocean: an Experiment’ by Phillip A Ellis

Welcome to Post-weekend Poetry and the ninth poem in this series. This week’s piece is by freelance critic, poet and scholar Phillip A Ellis.

When Time Is an Ocean: an Experiment

When time is an ocean, its tide will flow
and ebb in the ways that the tides have done
since time was a sea, and the lands were close,
but continents part, and they grind away,
and grow as estranged, and the ocean floors
are young and are growing, and seem to stretch
like dreamers on waking, in morning time.

Yet time is a continent, worn as gneiss,
or karst by its rivers that wend their way
to oceans and seas, and the lower state
as entropy calls them to rest at last,
and down in the water it sinks, it sinks,
and down in the water it sinks, to fall
forever a memory lost and gone.

I asked Phillip what prompted this piece and he said…
“Time Is an Ocean” is an experiment in meter, since, this year, I am concentrating on metrical poetry sans rhyme for the most part, and since I feel it is (in terms of technique) a signature poetry style that I enjoy writing. It is also a familiar topic. With familiar motifs: time, oceans, entropy. I have heard it said that the title of one’s first publication gives a clue to the trajectory of one’s writing career. In this case, the first poem I wrote, about the ruin of civilisation, has perhaps marked my most common idea: entropy, or the reduction of order to disorder.

Thank you, again, Phillip – look forward to seeing you next month with your poetry review. 🙂

Phillip A. Ellis is a freelance critic, poet and scholar, and his poetry collection, The Flayed Man, has been published by Gothic Press; Gothic Press will also edit a collection of essays on Ramsey Campbell, that he is editing with Gary William Crawford. He is working on another collection, to appear through Diminuendo Press. Another collection has been accepted by Hippocampus Press, which has also published his concordance to the poetry of Donald Wandrei. He is the editor of Melaleuca. He has recently had Symptoms Positive and Negative, a chapbook of poetry about his experiences with schizophrenia, published by Picaro Press.

He can be found at…
The Cruellest Month:
Symptoms Positive and Negative:

If you’d like to submit your poem (40 lines max) for consideration for Post-weekend Poetry take a look here.

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with crime author Shelly Frome – the two hundred and eighty-sixth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at Smashwords.  And, very exciting, I have a new forum at 🙂

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