Crab Sex

Some years ago,
we dug two crabs out of the sand,
sat in puzzlement at their conjoined state,
their shells as green as our naivety.

It was spring
and the high tides
swallowed up
the whole beach that day.
A blanket of foam
coveted our friends the crustaceans.
A carpet of seaweed threatened to push over us with clumsier limbs.

Some years ago,
Our plastic spade struck out
on cold shells,
forcing coitus interruptus
of the inside-out world.

Two pairs of eyes,
one on top,
the other underneath
and looking in our direction
suddenly disembodied,
in the chilling sea breeze.

We blushed deeply upon realising our mistake
but to bury them again seemed even ruder...

So, we remained static voyeurs
in a sandy boudoir
and puzzled over what to say
to those crabs next.

Some years ago,
what to say
to those crabs,
was the most important decision
we had to make.

stood in a different milieu of sands
as far as the occident carries,
single crabs scold my mottled toes.

I step back and, squelching,
how could we have left things so undecided?

Elspeth Vischer

Herring’s Return

Hold to the deep, spring herring;
embrace your right to underwater flight.
A primordial pattern of migration is found
in your erratic, berserk dance
among humpback whales, Steller sea lions.
Luminous sun punctuated (exclamation mark)
by fierce squall draws you closer;
closer to the soft needled brush of green hemlock branch,
closer to the human trap of wide-mouthed net.
Frenzied, you give rise to spring, spawn.
Your cyclical return offers reason to breathe
deeply of this day.

Kersten Christianson


after an audio postcard from Joe Allen

I haven’t brought my camera;
I’ll describe the beach for you.
It’s bright, and I’m sitting near
the spot where we half slept.

I’m looking at the cliffs
where we saw that sea snail.
It’s beautiful. The Sun hitting my face.
The breeze keeping me cool. People

flying kites, their lines
break the mottled sky,
the shapes catch the wind,
shimmer with movement.

Lydia Allison

Upon a Wispy Edge of Night

Walking on pebbles in sands of white
skyward watching as stars now peeking
moon glows from a blanket of clouds
lights from tall ships are horizon bound.

the inviting ocean
impassioned bliss
of salty smiles
a springtime kiss

admission, the price of a sand dollar
sea terns follow schools of bait fish
dogs running free and disobeying all
evenings first star, we make a wish.

sky of twilight
red or purple hues
a wispy edge of night
ocean breeze calms

flocks of geese slowly move north
days are longer; nights a bit warmer
footprints of winter left in the dunes
tranquillity whispers upon the beach.

Ken Allan Dronsfield

Ink sea

Ink sea,
stay with me.

Wash and fall,
bleed the sand
with blue, so blue
then retreat

back to the wild
and roar and howl
and paint the sky
all the colours of the storm.

Stain the night
and clean the stars
so they burn so clear
like tiny scars.

Elizabeth Gibson