Issue #2

Beach Combing

Each day, my shoes sucked
by the wet sand, I go beach-combing.
In its rush to leave, the ocean’s bowel
deserts some rare prizes; the turtle’s
trophies, the limpet’s loves,
the sea gherkin’s grail.
Now, captured and stored
in my dank garage I have won:

Innumerable coils of strong rope and tether,
A large store of driftwood –
mostly awash with holes,
A jigsaw of broken crockery,
Seven empty oil drums,
One green bottle, plugged
with ageing paper inside,
A prosthetic limb,
A large quantity of blubber,
And one dead cow.

I don’t know what I’m going to make yet.

Understanding the Circle

I pondered, before biting the worm,
whether the two halves would reconvene
to heal their differences in my gut.

I found the mouse to provide meagre
meat, and the slug a touch too toxic.
Seeking more substantial nourishment

I pelted wood pigeons with an air
rifle, camouflaged by my bedroom
window. The flesh is tender, a side

of stir-fry snails and ant compliments
it well. Often a bereaved partner
would view my consumption through the pane,

future feasts cooing mournfully. Spiders,
moths and daddy-long legs have no taste
(nor calorie) to boast; the dieting

girl’s game, a.k.a. Ryvita bugs.
Alas, my digestion of back-yard
delicacies was drawing to a close.

Preparing my fingers to filch some
flatulent frog-spawn, I was engulfed
in dreadful shadow. Turning I saw

Mothra, seemingly enraged, dive-bomb
from her wooden stool. Wings spread and eyes
slit, the mother-moth swallowed me whole.

James Byrom