Apr/May 1999 Poetry


by Robert James Berry



On her stomach's flat pan
The otter cracks shellfish
Then whiskers off
To waterproof preen

I turn to the unison strut of oystercatchers
                jabbing the strand

and a horseshoe of basalt
where seals snore
You can catch their stink

Morning is running now
The mainland has unveiled
Buoys on the swell
in only a hat of cloud

The winter light is beaten gold
Brief                ice
The silence cogent

As our ferry builds smoke
noses into the sound
I am stitching its wake
into this sheet
Feeling the patter of drizzle
The gulls whirling


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