Word Poetry




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Sample Poems by Anne Shivas

What the Shore Said

I screech, am steep cliff, surging water,
strand, dune and marram grass,
shell and bone hollow, rolled to sand,
spume, white horses' manes on surf,
gannet guzzling mackerel; am blood
anemone, buckies, bladderwrack, kelp,
thrum of a guitar. Upturned empty
crab, blue volcanic scooped out rock,
oyster catcher cooried doon on one leg,
I am crow, hopping. Herring gull, I sail
close to the wind, am sea pink, pink weed,
am snow-strewn, ice sheets cracked,
am an eye, wide open, rooted, children's voices,
fire and song, bud, wee shoals o fish
in slips o waves, broad and flat.
I didn't know un-seeable nets
flip-flops, rose hip, wellie boots,
could be woven around me,
flounder and dog, T-shirts, cagoules.
Salt, gusty, calm, raging, I didn't know
the gods would haul me, dolphin,
porpoise, killer whale, krill back,
pull us in by our dreams.

Demon of the Deep
Blue Hole, Dahab

I am so deep
you will never reach
the end of me;
could lose yourself
in my coral walls,
the living hues
of my edges,
in darting, shimmering
fish that live in nooks and caves
around my broad blue belly.
You could be mine
who forget yourself here,
find you have nothing
in the emptiness of my center.
I could embrace your silent
twist of fear, undress
even your mind.

Sea-Urchin on the Porch, Maine

A palm-sized mound
flecked with silver,
each velvet-sheened,
beveled spine shines.

Smashed open,
it lies, a three-petalled
flower of shell or bone.
In the still white centre

spatula-tongues and arches
bloom where seams of fine
old lace stitch bone to bone
on scales of fish or snake.

Sun and wind-dried
spines loosen, leave
a braille of small white breasts.
It has no use for the sea now.

I carry it to that sparkling edge
cast it back anyway.

Sea Change, Boston

Hot as anguish, these
humid days oppress
us like city towers or fear.
Here kin sleep on streets
arid as bone, beached
on hard shores.
We, too, breathe old air,
suffer inertia's weight
until a thick ocean smell
presses its salt heaviness
inland, reminding us
sea is our first, our liquid
state, and the giant turtle
calls time, to go home.