Four Directions at the Beach
Don’t look back the way you came.
The whole new-built-up seaside is
a town of children and the barefoot
intellectually. The town seal
is sad Penelope weaving kelp.
The seaward view is very nice,
if you like hypnotherapy.
The waves can hold men listening
for hours even when the rain falls.
The wind benumbs and chaps and chills.
Look down into the turbid water.
The rushy swell that greens your feet
cuts you in half: half man, half corpse.
I found a wallet in the sea
today, lost since 2003.
But up! When you’re floating on your back
and you look up, for once it’s you
who’s drifting in relation to
the sky. For once you listen
to yourself when no-one else does
Erik Kennedy's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in publications like 3:AM Magazine, Dead King, and Poems in Which in the UK, Ladowich, Ohio Edit, and Prelude in the US, and Landfall and Sport in New Zealand. He is the poetry editor for Queen Mob's Teahouse. He lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Cover photograph by Andrea Schaffer, CC 2.0.