Saturday: Flotsam and Derelict. Join Jason O’Toole, Rachael Ikins, Don Oldham, Samantha Merz, and me in sharing the ocean. Share what you love about seas and shores #NationalMarineWeek poetry and artworks challenge. Please submit your unpublished/published poems and artwork by DM to me, or send a message via my WordPress “The Wombwell Rainbow” contact screen or my FB “Paul Brookes-Writer and Photographer” Today is Flotsam and Derelict, tomorrow is Jetsam and Lagan

A Beach in Maine by Rachael Ikins

Unborn by Rachael Ikins

-Rachael Ikins

Portuguese Plums

At the breakfast buffet, I choose cut up Portuguese plums
Put them on my plate
Poured myself some peach juice in my glass
Spread some apricot jam across my baguette
A blue bookmark for my yellow paperback
Wearing a cork necklace and pink sandals
Looking for bronze bell earrings
Many fortresses are nearby
Floating past on kayaks
Bubbles from the ripples in the brackish water
Will have dinner after a couple of appetizers and Aperol Spritz
Heaven is on the horizon

-Samantha Merz

Sultry July

A coral fire burns through the night
There could be morning lightning
My version of a nightcap consists of nightly capsules to take with water
A science fiction fantasy
Surprised that squirrels get along with rabbits
Hallucinations of halos
Failing to ask for the recipient
Cornflower blue blouse over a burgundy dress
Sunlight shines and sparkles on my skin
Sun glitters off the Pacific blue waves
We’ll each have a glass of red sangria on this summer’s day
The angel’s trumpets don’t leave behind any shadows

-Samantha Merz

Waves By Don Oldham

-Don Oldham

New Year’s Eve

Cannot see but know.
Know it surges, there in the dark,
across the two-lane road,
behind the black wall
of night.

Constant rumble, waves
slapping concrete.
Full of life, but not my kind.
Cannot see but know.

Sister Death’s voice
carries on every wave;
sings to my still
warm blood.

Must not want it enough.
This wall built to keep me out
for which I am grateful.
Drive away, the darkness stays
with me.

First appeared in VerseVirtual April 18, 2020
Glaucous Gull

Riding ice floes
out to the Atlantic.
Ate all the algae
underneath.

No picnics to raid.
No boats tossing herring.
& so, kill plovers.

Kill ducks on the water.
Kill laughing gulls in midair.
Kill Icelandic gulls
only here for the winter.

Faithful spouses,
Great parents.
Living off the sea.
I might like to be one.

The Terrible Gulls

Above twin redbrick
Smokestacks, inert
urban volcanos:
Gulls wing through
sky tinted in
own plumage’s
grey pearl.

Bumping midair:
they’re not mating,
nor being social.
4-year gulls hunting
the smaller ones.
Picking them off.

How terrible!
says I, chewing
chicken salad
sandwich as downy
pale feather descends
past dirty window.

First appeared in Neologism Poetry Journal, Feb. 2020

Seagods of the Lower Merrimack

Violin-throated seagulls.
Howling sea-gods summoned
with punitive strokes
of over-rosined bows.

Warnings?
No. Shouts
at safety-oranged
construction crew
laying gray foundation
in the mud below:

“Pay our tithe!
Pay our tithe,
of breakfast burrito leavings
stuck to wrappers,
& errant corn chip!”

“We, immortal children of Glaukos,
demand our portion
of your Dunks & Cumbies!”

Never be rid of them
should you toss any scraps.
Neither you, nor they
Should even eat that
nutrient-bare slop.

Let seagulls be seagulls;
hover-dip & dive
into the Merrimack
after bass and salmon.

Let us all stop.
Stop eating garbage
wrapped in garbage.
Let us plunge.
Plunge into the cold river
ensnaring eels with our teeth.

Leviathan Tours

This morning in the kitchen,
after first asking
if you had time to hear it,
described last night’s dream.
Met you in empty football stadium.
On the run from dream-scene,
got violent.

Streets upon streets, each unfamiliar;
on-the-fly simulacrum.
Chased by cocaine dealers.
Almost hit by woman in Subaru,
New Hampshire plates.
Avoiding teenage gang
standing four abreast, blocking sidewalk.
Cut left, slim alley, tight
liana tangles possess chain-link.
Through neon doors
past bloody aprons fileting black cod,
headless & gutted,
out dead fruit loading docks –
Until you stopped me.

Your delicate hands.
Sleek travel brochure
from your dreamworld:
Ice caves occupied by prehistoric whales
buried face down, fanned out, or stacked
by size, one on top the other,
Largest, Livyatan L. melvillei, on bottom.
“Let’s go!” You say.

Yes, but must keep running
southeast towards that sunny orchard
often dreamt, through which I must…

In our kitchen, waking-you says,
“Yes, that sounds just like me.”

First appeared in Spillwords (Jan. 2020)

Seahorse Homecoming

In this estuary of the river
That flows both ways
Seahorse hunts on his lands
Tail curled around a ribbon
Of eelgrass

Cloaked in this sunken forest
Eyes search his quarry
A clutch of fish eggs
Seahorse strikes fast
Drawing them in
Through stubby snout

Under a crumbling pier
Where Mahicantuck opens to the sea
In the shallows where sunrays
Pierce the turbid waters
Seahorse anchors himself
To the seabed

Courage outlasting
The fate of wild past
Reeling back victorious
from annihilation’s static border
Seahorse scans the poisoned waters
Brimming with creatures
Nature has made immune

Seahorse stalks ghost shrimp
To feed the many young
Growing in his pouch
Through the strength of his resolve
His tribe thrives
Restored to ancestral lands

First appeared in We’ve Seen the Same HorizonPoems of Awakening (The Red Salon, 2019)

-Jason O’Toole

Beach by Paul Brookes

-Beach by Paul Brookes

My Afterlife

is a half life.
is a rainbow,
brief but colourful.

A bucket and spade
left on a beach
for the sea to play with.

A sentence ending
in a connecting word.

Scatter my ash
on a sea of plastic,

On the remains of the last living
thing that is now extinct.

In the concrete underpasses
tagged, graffitied, dismissed.

Under the feet of refugees,
on the drowned water
of those that did not make it.

Scatter me like fragrant leaves
in the baths of the rich.

-Paul Brookes

Bios and Links

-Samantha Merz

Poems by Samantha have been published by Polar Expressions Publishing, Grey Thoughts, Reality Break Press, Fevers of the Mind Poetry Digest, Nymphs, Malarkey Books, Poetry Festival, Dreams Walking and Resurrection Mag. In 2019, Samantha self-published a collection of poetry called Kazoo.

One thought on “Saturday: Flotsam and Derelict. Join Jason O’Toole, Rachael Ikins, Don Oldham, Samantha Merz, and me in sharing the ocean. Share what you love about seas and shores #NationalMarineWeek poetry and artworks challenge. Please submit your unpublished/published poems and artwork by DM to me, or send a message via my WordPress “The Wombwell Rainbow” contact screen or my FB “Paul Brookes-Writer and Photographer” Today is Flotsam and Derelict, tomorrow is Jetsam and Lagan

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