South beach, looking West - Caroline Stockford

Red kite spirals its compass of air

against the vacancy.

Cows softly work the grass to spoken-for milk

stealing under trees,

rearranging their black continents on lakes of white

cut-out clouds that sit on sky, pitcher than night

Crows sabotage everyone for fun

as gulls' ingested calls

break down to the dusty beach.


There, fingers of hushing foam touch calligraphic plastic

laid bright as paint on the shore.

Trying to read man's message

the water borrows one piece at a time

for its junk-island library.


Versions of us sit at the edge of the once-wooded valley,

that now brims with forbidding liquid.

Forest floor still quilted with life,

rocked not by the breeze but the tease of the tide.


We believe the horizon and wait,

studying the disc-thin door of the sinking sun.

Waves patrol the upsetting sea

but we are always just out of reach.


© Caroline Stockford


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