Mudlark No. 63 (2017)

					                This world

					                    a hole
				               that made itself? A hole

      		      continually making the word, in-
                                                  	             effable. Last remnants 
	      on this beach, meaningless?

				          Polystyrene bits, a small green bag 
				                         filled with dog shit. 

Bundled old man and middle-aged daughter stare into waves. So careful, so careful, 
    the way she holds his elbow as they struggle back through whipped sand tails. 

				    He turns, 
			takes one last look back: grey cloud, grey sea, 

									                      sparse rain. 

  What was the word whispered over the dead (now ochre bones),  
						        found inside Goat’s Hole Cave 
			    when the Bristol Channel was a plain? Last words 
								                           as seed, enfolded 
						        inside the first.  

			 Gulls sound the fog. Hunger of the surf. 
      Rivulets cut through wet sand, halfway to the tide-line, 
		                   		 where water drains down from terraced houses.

		        Sanderlings dart around mud pools, rocks, hunting.

				  Fog horn, faint 
				  Yellow lights, faint 
				  Smell of chips and curry, faint
				  Taint of sewage from open PVC pipes at roof level, faint  
				  Voices, faint
				  Distant lights off the Devon coast, faint 
				  A siren, faint 

Christien Gholson  | Tidal Flats 22
Contents | Mudlark No. 63 (2017)