Fangs in the stewing pot chatter on the boil

the body has slid from every bone

I eat cat – gristle, rib and jaw

killed in a sack, against a wall

and tough as a lesson.


The Atlantic comes in all colours

a roll cage of plastic

picked up by confused beaks

has hollowed its way back to the tide.


Furniture padding hits the beach

amputated by the waves

licking the shore

the tongue of a rotting whale sings.


Crabs commit themselves to the surf

racing from gaps in the sand

if the moon is up without cloud, teasing the equator

they’ll stand and wait.


Children organise bludgeoning raids

swinging personalised sticks sideways

beer in hand, I listen to tiny backs crack

before the sea gets them safe.


Some are found blue

fishing boats are split in two

yanks of  tide treat all swimmers the same

they become guardians of the undertow.


Turtles rise

unparented, from their shallow graves

returning as discoloured shells

to become ornament, powder, or charm.


Two boys

strike out bold as bolts in my eyes

with the swell eating the clouds

hours wash by

they return old, on bodyboards.


Night closes the lid on it all

I stand at the waterline

a frail sail of moon-pulled pores

and everything eaten in a day.