Collecting Shells

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We spent the last hours
Bent to the sand
Sifting the tide line
For tiny shells.

In among the bleached fragments
We found cowries, green stones
And purple coral. The sun
Was hot on our backs

But when it fell behind the rock
Promontory we didn’t notice,
Our fingers busy like the feathery Mandibles of wary crabs.

Afterwards we went to the bar
Perched on the headland
And looked out over the vast water,
Absorbing the orangey light

That changed as we thought
Our long thoughts and took
Photographs of the magic
As it diminished in the far away night.

Copyright 2016 Ben Truesdale & distilledvoice

Her Summer Dream

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Her summer dream:
To fling open the shutters
And find a cobble stone morning
Already bustling
With early light
And amblers
Foraging for breakfast.

From her dwelling
In a stone cottage
Fronting the harbour
There is no better moment
Than when the sea air infiltrates
And she hangs loose
On the window ledge,
Smoking a long, cool cigarette
And sipping coffee
As her eyes quiz
The holiday makers lives

While her mind wanders lazily
In the light of a summer dress
And in the passage of time
That might steer aimless
Towards lunchtime
Or even a sun dosed nap
In the hot afternoon.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015

For Mima

Beachcomber

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His is the barefooted
Sand grain press
And cushion, cool toes
In the lapping edge.

And where brine falls away
He looks
To find treasures
Brought on tide

And by the sea’s means,
Things cast high
And left bleached.
His is the measure

Of time in waves,
Regular draw
And curl forward,
And again

The pulse
Of far ocean
Felt in an oscillation.
And through the night

His ears
Hear the surf clap
And crash
In white frothing excitation

Yet his eyes
Are to the black sky,
Spattered in constellation
And celestial bodies

Glimmering as the
Phosphorescent beings
That light
The universal sea

At his toe tip reach
And in the fluid ocean,
And in the intertidal furls
In which he lives:

The light years he perceives
So close
He can nearly
Touch them.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015

Beach Shack

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As if
The sea
Had constructed it
With surge
That brought the plank,
The net,
The wave rotted rope,
Tattered and thready
And bone white
From the salt sun:
A pile
High on the tide line
As stark and dry
As the loose feathers
And rounded drift wood
And the seaweed
Crisp as rind:
Debris ground by wave
On the pebble beach,
Burned and bleached
By elements
Constant rotation
And then so loosely arranged
By calloused
And fishline hands,
Ruddy and sun shanked
And work worn
To a soft disintegration.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015

Preserving The Catch

Fishermen haul in their net,
Bring in the unseen dimension
While fair skinned tourists
Haul in a delightful authenticity.

The net is wriggly with silver reflex,
Scales shed as a last desperate breath
Bloodies the gills, and tourists snap
In their own reflex to capture the dying light.

It soon quells as each silver fish
Relinquishes and stills on the beach.
Fishermen tidy their nets and
Tiny fry, caught but unwanted

Dry on the sea of sand,
Embalmed in the photograph
In which tourists preserve,
Just as the fishermen salt

And lay their catch in the sun.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015