Edges of Sanity

photo Tom Kay


The film Edges of Sanity is now live on The Guardian. Below is the text of the poem. 


Edges of Sanity



It’s been said

On far shores, weary mariners hear voices

Songs so beautiful they cast a spell

There is no choice but to hear.


They claim these whispers hold a message

Each ear hears different music

But the same call hunts the senses:


Without risk, there is no beauty

Without chance, no adventure

Through suffering, wealth without limit


So we scheme and plan

And tell nobody of our dreams

Shuffle cards, chance vague variables

And tread endless road miles until

Close against cold ground we toss and turn


And summon black water



For I am of the waiting deep

The great denier, the poised fist

Stalker of pitch oceans

Whose fingers twist about your throat…


I swallowed the sad pilgrims

Who fell to flat reef, their vessels sunk

Into water bitter as winter night

Beyond the edges of sanity


I am the waiting teeth of the rocks below

The grinning maw in the clouds

Bearer of the hourglass - killer of the short dim day


Who beckons you to dare



The north song does not stop

Power in that promise

Goes beyond common meanings


You have walked in footsteps new

What was before will never be again

But memories of lined faces


And in the glowing after

Breaking bread the sweetest knot

All weight shed - light extraordinary


Until my whisper comes again…

And the future begs your listening 

The future begs your listening