Pippa Little

For The Lost

They lie
on the shore,
stripped, unravelled.

Gathered-in,
tidied into grace,
they become forms
on a foreign hall floor,

arranged in lines,
wooden spars
for silver rails
or stepping stones
of a dark forest’s story –

each one, words
from a convoluted sentence,
lanterns on a wire
unlit long after dusk

and more will follow
the moon’s path over the sea until
her bright nets unroll them
into the shallows.

Each alone, yet
they lie, family, here.
Far distant separate/
connected tracks in sand, in earth,
seem small as Tesbih beads’
red cedar, ebony,
each one a prayer

for the lost boats
unlanded.

Tisbih or Misbaha are strings of beads used to count the recitation of Islamic prayers.

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