In a shop there was a photograph -
a picture called ‘the green cathedral’.
I want you to imagine this wave;
and to do this, you must see the picture as I did,
hanging there, colours on the edge of breaking.
You will understand then that like me,
the photographer (the man who owns the shop)
has waited for this wave for decades.
So in the holy curl of its prayer we worship
and wait to click or paddle; the timing is everything,
even God cannot help us with this one.
So now imagine the moment when you
might whisper to the wave. Beckon it,
coax it into being, ride through Its shining halls,
capture its image and its memory.
Then hang it on your wall and go back for another one.
The Green Cathedral was written for Gary Roberts - the man who owned the shop - and for his photograph of the same name. He’s not a surfer (Gary would be the first to admit that he’s a bit past it now), but he saw instantly that there was a surfer’s prayer in that wave; a waiting and a hanging and a whispering moment of time that could carry you to glory, or trash you on the rocks in careless indifference.
From the Original poem - The Green Cathedral - from Pembrokehsire Poems box set, 2007 available HERE.