Ebb & Flow
Amber beer bottles
back floating on turbid tides
some corked carrying messages
most reduced to glass shards,
razor sharp edges rounded
by the selfsame sand thrust
over rocks, against cliff faces,
around feet wading shoals.
Bull whip kelp wash ashore
after tempests, sunburned beach combers
pop bulb-like heads before gathering
long tentacles, cracking them
like riding crops or cat-o’-nine tails,
flagellating sandcastles & sunbathers
knowing pliable algae’d harmlessly flog
friends & objects of their joyful aggression.
Children tip-toe through flotsam jetsam
scrawl their names in the wet shoreline
place star fish in piles surrounding them
with sea urchins & periwinkle shells
as waves roll in, their creations melt
into a watery fray & they scream
as salty ice hands clutch youthful ankles,
& horseshoe crabs pierce naked feet.
About the Author: A Washington- based author, poet, educator, word-lover, Sterling Warner’s works have appeared in dozens of literary magazines, journals, and anthologies such as Ekphrastic Review, A Washington-based author, educator, and Pushcart nominee for poetry, Warner’s works have appeared in many international literary magazines, journals, and anthologies such as Street Lit., The Ekphrastic Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Fib Review, The Vita Brevis Poetry Magazine, and Sparks of Calliope. Warner also has written seven volumes of poetry, including Without Wheels, ShadowCat, Memento Mori: A Chapbook Redux, Edges, Rags & Feathers, Serpent’s Tooth, and Flytraps (2022)—as well as. Masques: Flash Fiction & Short Stories. Currently, he writes, hosts virtual poetry readings, and enjoys retirement.
Image Credit: Chase Dimock “Seagulls at Sunset” (2020)