and in the shop…
Two Rivers Press
They took us to the edge of the world
where chaos heaved – a huge grey beast
slavering at the sand, sucking at stones.
Aged three I knew, refused to tempt it
though my sister ran shrieking in and out
shocked by the cold, thrilled at her daring.
I can taste the salt of my father’s broken promise
when he let me go, water closed its lid,
in a green element I knew electric panic.
Now we herd between flags, minded by lifeguards
mindful of its malevolence; the airbed drifting
quietly to deep water, the pincers of an undertow.
I have heard its roar, seen fathoms flung on rocks
at Hell’s Mouth, Bryher, exploding in white and silver,
read of the wrecks littering the Scillies’ seaways.
A TV reporter on a beach points out the cliff
where a freak wave snatched two boys, or the spot
where a man trying to save his dog was drowned.