Contributed

Shore

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Another contribution from Claire W. Our best wishes to Claire on her trip to China.

Let the water lap around my feet.
My blood has stilled its path,
and leaves my flesh dessicate.
I can only enjoy
the punch and pound of the waves –
external, like the sunlight,
like the whip of the wind.
Inside a birdwing pulse barely registers
and my skin is pale,
my lips are pale,
bonebleached and as white as the sand.
Let it rain.
Let the sky beat upon the sea,
as if impassioned,
as if the rhythms of the world were woven into patterns,
as complex as lace.
Make for me a heartbeat like a storm,
stir up my blood as if torrential rain were pouring through my veins,
or as if the waves were cresting in my bones.
Touch me. Oh god, I feel as if I’m quivering!
And yet,
I know how still I am,
how silent my breath,
how cold the brittle fingers of my right hand.

The Long Grass

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Thanks to Claire W. for sending me this poem of hers. I hope you enjoy reading it as well.

The snake sloughs off old age
- his skin, gleaming like a jewelled cloth
slips into the silver stream.
Ornate. Eyes, teeth and flickering tongue
make him an elegant trickster, a rich-clad thief.
No need of petty thefts –
his frauds are greater
(though his sibilant tongue will whisper a conman’s words).
Beware – he will drink deep of your immortality,
will drain the dregs of death,
each coil its own eternity.
And as he slinks in the dewy grass,
you will walk the straight path, the slow path
(all magic herbs now lost, all sorceries unlearnt,
the gifts of ancient gods squandered like common coins).
There is no need for his red venom.
The poison has set in.
Walk quickly.
Even the trees are treacherous now – the lakes, the streams,
the grass.

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