Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Watercolour by Tony Taylor http://www.paintingbreaksguernsey.com

Friday, 4 November 2016

ALL WASHED UP

This poem received a runners-up prize in a UK competition last week. I don’t tend to enter many competitions but I suspected that Flotsam had the sort of contemporary relevance that might get it noticed, so I sent it off and crossed my fingers.
Competition success or not, I think it’s a strong poem, carefully crafted, that deserves to be read.



















FLOTSAM
(Noun: wreckage, remains; debris, detritus, waste, dross, refuse, scrap, trash, garbage, rubbish.) 

The sea does not want her.
It takes the others:
her, it discards
half-dead on shingle-sand,
the reek of salty fear
on her brown skin.

Gulls shriek
and quarrel overhead.
She lies face down
barely breathing,
a human starfish,
one black asterisk
referencing nothing.

Cruciform
on wet shingle,
she counts her stations:
hunger, terror, flight,
abuse, exploitation,
a merciless sea
crossed.

Land
that does not want her
spins like a mirage:
a half-moon cove,
gaunt trees
aligned like bars,
European houses.

She claws wet gravel,
draws herself
to her knees,
kneels to vomit.
Along the beach,
relentlessly,
policemen come.


No comments:

Post a Comment