Mindscape: Beach (Poetry Monthly)
A crab's-eye view from the sand whispers 'colour' -
an invitation to sink into the summer stripes of
blue, azure, aqua, pewter, white in
tasteful, horizontal, deckchair slabs.
Human skins, in all their mottled shades,
look much the same as each other,
as difficult to distinguish one
as to tell shell from shell.
These burrowing creatures seem compelled to construct,
they fill buckets with salt-water, mix sand,
dig, shape, create -
perhaps it's instinctive.
They scuttle across the surface, splash at the water's edge
in primary brights, a scattering of reds and yellows, oranges
and pinks on churned silver, a clash as cheerful as a gaudy
shoal flashing against coral castles and salty swaying forests.
The sun slips into a crack between blues in a blaze
that sucks out all of the colour and swallows the heat -
human casings are too thin to tolerate cool air, they leave
rocks waiting in the dark, holding the memory of warmth.