Those self-same skills

I had intended to write every week; and I didn’t intend to post any of my poetry. This overdue letter is in the form of a poem. I had been thinking about Lady Nakatomi writing tanka and collecting shells and a walk I’d taken with my sister at Tyrella beach.

Worse again – it had originally been a poem about writing and ended with the lines ‘I talk too much; don’t listen enough / were you thinking that about me’ but that didn’t work out either. It is strange how things take their own direction. Perhaps that’s what I’d been thinking about… and ghosts.  The good news is that I am to have two poems in Abridged 0-17 due out the end of July. It’s a visual arts / poetry journal  on the subject of ‘Time’ – really looking forward to hearing it. Anyway here is ‘Tyrella’



one part of the beach is covered

in tiny shells; precisely made

as tanka; fine lines of ochre

and lilac etched on ivory.

I select some as reminders

though I know their lacquer will fade

without moisture. There is nothing

 on the water, not even a

liner out on the horizon –

and what seemed to be shifting sands

is a low mist rising. I move

through it, as one might gently touch

the surface of old love-letters.