new zealand electronic poetry centre

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As I walk along the beach
The wind whips my face
The sand bites my legs
Seaweed and driftwood advance on the dunes
It seems as if the whole sea is washing up
Waves smash, smash, smash
Like powerful hydraulic rams pounding the shore
Gulls screech and scrag each other trying to impress
I can taste the salt in the air
The noise is horrific, but nice in a way
The marram grass dances in the wind
I come across a dead shag
Its body is like a clump of damp seaweed
Its feathers shuffled in the heavy wind
Its neck is twisted and bent unnaturally
Something about that still, lifeless creature jolts my insides
The tumbling of marbles pulls me away
I look up at the towering gulls
The grey painted sky falls drip,drip, drip
Soaking me to the bone
The tide comes in, licking up the soft gold sand
I look back and see my footprints fading
I see the shag. I stand there transfixed
This chilling sensation comes over me
As I stand I think why, why, why
That could be anything, anyone, anywhere
Someone could be lying stone dead beneath a clump of seaweed
Without anyone's recognition
Never found
The rain still falls and I snap back to reality
As I lie in bed that night
I listen to the waves as they fight the moon's grasp.

Amberley Beach


Last updated 27 April, 2006