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I wrote this in 1991. The title refers to the folklore belief that every seventh wave is a big one. It was read in a poetry programme on Radio Scotland and published in a School of Poets (Edinburgh) poetry card in 1997. I have not been able to write anything about the Tsunami as somehow, the event seems not yet to be over. I hope that it will have the same influence on our reflections on human behaviour as I intended originally. Henceforth, I dedicate it to all the victims and their grieving survivors. GSNM.

Geo. S. Neil Mochrie
Falkirk, Scotland

The first wave:
gossamer on the brow of the beach
barely wetting the sand.

The next:
a gardener's hand
gently caressing
leaving unblemished
the bloom of the peach.

Wave number three:
pickpocket fingers
silent, insistent, deft
taking the small change
from the housewife's smock.

Wave four is
a robber's fist
openly grasping
removing the heavier metal
from the merchant's reach.

The fifth wave comes
changing the lineaments of the strand,
shifting old boundary markers,
dragging rubble from the mother rock.

The sixth roars
ravening up tame river valleys,
swamping plains,
submerging low hills,
possessing inner lakes,
spraying mountain peaks,
melting ancient snows,
falling back,
regretting the distance of the stars.

And the seventh wave,
without sound,
rises and rises
until the whole world round
is under ocean
and the minds of the thinkers are stilled
and the eyes of the seers are drowned
and the mouths of the poets are filled.

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