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