The Civilized Shore



Banked up in broken ridges, sea foam boils
And dives and spits towards its finish line
Of debris on the beach, a splash of brine
Tumbling in silver fishlike from torn toils.

Beyond the breakers, blue water embroils
A flock of gannets. Silver, serpentine
Wings sliding round the wind thrust, thrust down
Through sky and sea, down like a spring’s squeezed coils,

To snatch at submerged prey then fly up again,
Starting anew the cycle of the feast.
Throughout all this, the idle crowd has lain
Turning and tanning belly, bum and breast,

Confident in its place beside the shore,
Unguarded for a weekend, crude and raw.


The beach always makes an interesting contrast between the raw violence of the natural world and the tame values humans abide by. This sonnet looks OK for now. I have been churning out quite a bit of poetry lately and now it is time to get back to the novel. The novel is finished but needs at least one more rake-over.

Current edit:

26 August 2015


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