“Hopeless Wanderer”

He walks out, a lonely strandloper

looking for a poem,

picking up broken pieces of shell

like bits of words

to be built into a golden dune,

or so he hopes.

But dunes take time and rhythm

and repetition of the tides,

moved by the moon.

And repetition of the waves

turning him inside out

to the shattering of shells.

 

His cloudy companions

watch closely overhead

contemplating silence

as he gazes at the greyblue sea.

A dead penguin appears and

he stops,

mortified by the modern world.

But it could have been old age

and uncertainty appeals

for here lies every blackwhite bird,

all penguindom in a line,

washed onto a lonely bed of gold.

 

The beach explodes in trails

around mysterious holes,

dug out by ghost-arms

which scuttle away to

the vibration of his steps

seeping through sand.

He can feel solitude shaping him

like pebbles, solace-strewn on the strand.

Having reached nowhere in particular,

everywhere at once,

he turns to face the wind

and walks back home.

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