Two feet spit with flecks of sand: Shells and stone ground down – Perhaps whipped from that, Cliffside far ahead, beat hour after hour- Century after century, Till they were swept ashore, Washed, As crumpled pieces: That cling to everything.
Ground into ever moving ground.
Pausing to hear the silence between – The howling waves’ crash As sand slinks out between the toes, Icy water laps and pools, Soft surf with the sting of salt, Fades in and out Heels are firmly gripped Pulled down. As everything crumbles.
The sun sinks in the sky A red haze, a strident blur Low tide leaves a quarter of the beach intact For now. Everything spins fast out around The feet on the shore Change is in every ripple.
It’s background noise: There’s nothing but the sea And the sand And the cliff As the water tracks back and forth Crumbles the solid ground you stood upon.
The cement is fresh, clean and thick,
You can leave drifting prints,
Feet, hands and any passing,
Writ large, or small,
Poignant or plain,
Beautiful or tragic,
Abstract or visceral.
You could tap-dance to Shakespearean sonnets,
Illustrate the hypocrisy of a binary system,
Carve a caveman’s treatise,
Sketch barn owls’ eyes,
Smear jaunty barbs,
Or daub thoughts from the inside
Of your brain.
Stand too long in this,
This clean piece,
This fresh start,
Becomes an anchor
As you sink,
With every passing thought:
Of what could have been,
What marks you should have made,
What better thoughts some other would have had,
On and on,
You scrawl through every reason this could be a pitfall,
While you sink right through,
Leaving nothing behind.
discarded metal unloaded
Bullets from a smoking tongue,
Heavy in the air.
Hear them clatter,
The hordes don’t scatter;
But feel and inhale the reverberated spatter.
They take heed;
Spit them at a pulpit,
Hurl them on a pyre.
Black them out,
Glorify their ire.
Make them creed and council,
Scratch them through,
Take them as an affront.
Slap them together for a kidnapper’s stew.
Yet the weight of your hate never comes back to you.
It builds and flows,
Cross comment currents that scream,
That whistle through the wind,
Whine and moan.
Till they become:
The only conversation known.
Again and again.
The storm inhales them,
Turbo-charged fuel for “collateral”
You stand in the eye of it all,
Your views strewn.
Lies or truth,
Facts or falsehoods,
Power backs your endorsements.
Screens or Foxholes:
You have an audience.
The tornado carries the believers,
Lifting them buoyant as they bludgeon,
One leg dangling free;
At any point,
A sentence can plunge them into the sea.
While you stand golden,
In the centre of –
A three-mile island.
With your smoking tongue,
Ready to spit bullets-
The lake is thick with ice, I push my heel into it; a crisp crunch. I make my way, precise across the lake, and with each movement the ice begins to fissure. To splinter. I can see dark water through these small wounds.
These tiny cracks build and build, one after the other like a burgeoning river recreating its source.
I set my heel once more and the fissures tear through the surface at a rapid rate, they rip; the ice splits and sinks.
And I fall.
I plunge beneath the surface, sink cocooned in the cold.
There’s a clink as the ice closes over my head.
I flounder, I beat my hands bloody against the ice.
I twist, turn and scream silent in an echo chamber where no one can see or hear me.
I realise I’m not drowning in water, I was never stepping on ice.
With every beat of my hand against the surface, dark black blood pulses round me, oozes out of the surface, through the cracks, as I harden the bruise, as I spread the tears, as I rip through the surface, as I strip the body to get to its source.