Muscles ripple under the skin of the sea

as it surges forward

then slips back.

A pale scar

runs across the bulge of the bay

like scurf on the shoulders of a funeral suit.


A deep fold of sand

hard as the rib of a whale

lies under the waves

a current licks along it

mouths at the bodies of swimmers

when they come close.


Survivors let the current take them

swim into the pain

wait through the slow unpicking of the hours

until they drift into the shallows

beyond the headland

where the sand bears no familiar prints.




from ‘Salt’ published by IDP 2013