Shipwrecked

Polly Oliver

by

Each cardinal point tells of Wasteland.
Primordial sand shifting
under a frozen wind,
hissing with the voices of spirits
shipwrecked on this skeleton coast,
rimmed by a glittering line of sea.

Here castaway fragments and relics
are spat after decades adrift
from the blue-throated Ocean
and maw of Estuary.
Husks of things rustle
With the dry scuttle of grains
At the feet of crumbling dunes -
Earth's ebbing with each tide to feed
The ever-hungry sea.

Living footfalls trace this place of endings
With crunch of empty shell
A crisp-brittle crack of lost urchins:
Calcium Carbonate - chalk to dust
In a driftwood boneyard.

But with each turn of a gypsy moon's face
All is washed and re-framed,
Shell innards polished to spirals of pearl,
Pastel-shaded plastic tears pepper the edge of the world.

You see the broken beauties, pull them free
Fill your pockets, gaze on the skittish sea
That calls your salted blood.
And loosens the anchor
To land-stranded love.

Your heart sails to the Shearwater's realm,
Hears the call of the storm,
And the lure of the helm.

Polly Oliver has worked as a broadcast journalist and in communications and marketing over the last couple of decades. She writes poetry in spare moments. Her home, and frequent inspiration, is Wales’s sea-circled Gower Peninsula.