May 2021
by Nick Allen

on rocks the ottery whiskered
unknowable kelp schlepps
a flat wet jungle

below the castle the water runs blue
pulled by tides pushed by rivers
it cloaks the seeping mudflats
and sandbanks that lurk intent
on their own schemes of treachery

a seabird skims and dips wings
the wind teases and the loch bucks
as a shoal of flashing mackerel boil
and agitate at the thin film keeping
them safe from the suffocating air above

a breeze jewels the loch thin lines score
the water with daily traceries the moon
pulls again dragging water ever lower
liquid gums over rock teeth creatures
gather to pick at these fluid margins

afternoon sky bounces off the water
wind drags around the small headland
and somewhere a boat churns the silence
with a gnattish buzzing impossible to deny
a shag and its shadow collide on the flat loch skin

and the otter noses the air
before diving again feral
sleek as a lie

Nick Allen © 2020