Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Where the fish form
a stinking silver mat
that bumps against
the shoreline, crabs feast,

not knowing – for crabs
are not knowing creatures –
that they too die, poisoned
by the rust-red sea.

I’ve seen it before;
I know the Gulf, grew up
on these sands. I know
I will see it again.

Nature’s cycle: the red tide
must come on a summer wind,
when phosphorescent waves
tumble into the night,

when monsoon and heat
sets a kettle boiling
out there. It’s been happening
since there were seas.

I’ve seen it before;
but have we now,
with our cities, our waste,
tipped this balance too far?

My eyes are full
of the acrid breeze,
the wheeling glutton gulls.
On the deserted beach

and out along the limestone
groin, more dead fish
rise and fall with the gentle
swells of summer.

Stephen Brooke ©2005

I don't do much of this sort of thing. Memories from my younger days, I suppose, have welled up in this one.

No comments: