Southern Ocean Edge


Out at the far edge of the lagoon,

low grassy dunes crouch before the tide.

The assault inevitable,

each one looks to its arsenal:

Shells, fragments few and bare;

a conservation listing; council plans for beach repair.

Beach grasses the only hope.


Would-be anchors for the sand,

runners creep into no man’s land,

where all will crumble, sand and turf,

as predatory waves disperse

in shallow tumbling foam.


Aquamarine walls surge and retreat in seconds, while the beach defenders,

single strands of grass, cling to what they can.

Their corpses, covered in foamy bubbles,

soon mingle with unsettled sand.


Thermopylae appears.

Lone expendables sacrifice themselves.

Skirmishers stalling a gathering threat,

enveloped, engulfed in the maelstrom.

No fiat from desk-bound mandarin,

will make a bit of difference.

The solidarity of the planet’s friends,

plays canute-like, beside the point.


The sacrifice without effect,

earns no respect.

The deep blue menace punishes impertinence.

Goliath breathes indifference.


At the far edge of the lagoon

elemental forces unleash against low grassy dunes,

ignoring conservation listings, votes and ordinances.

Just crumbling fortress walls assaulted by marauding surf hurled from the unknowable deep,

which has come to claim its own.


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