The wreckage on the shore

heaped up in ridges

like unfinished business plans.

Bladdered fronds, embrittled in the gales.

Laminaria hold-fasts, which didn’t.

Sugar-kelp, shirred party-sashes,

shifted only so far by the moon’s cycles.

Hollow whelk shells denuded of their faces.

Razors, sharp, unpaired.

A guillemot’s beak.

In summer this

is a curiosity to me,

this spillage and wastage from the sea’s mind.

In summer I can graze on the weed

like a bryozoan, with others

clearing the beach of human plastic.

In summer I approach the jellyfish,

make metaphors of their spill of entrails on the sand.

Where did winter start?

There in the echo chambers of a recoiled shell?

Or in the bleaching of the weed, the coral?

Or in the riding of a raft of eiders on the crest?

© Kathy McVittie 27 Nov 2019

Brora North Beach near harbour, September 2018 
copyright Kathy McVittie 2018