A storm has bearded the beach

with a foetid deluge of seaweed.

It jumps with sandflies

and wheezes underfoot like black moss


The sea, a churning staircase of revolving glass

is an arcade game

pushing – not pennies – but stones

into shelves where they lie

setting in the April sun,

their lilac-velveteen palms turned upwards


Idly, I pick up a sea-branch.

It is bleached, winding and worn

a shepherd’s crook

or letter ‘S’

polished to pearly sinew at the elbow

When at my side

appears the game, gormless face of Dog

and I know what I must do.


As I raise the stick high, and fling it spiralling,

his quivering haunches prance for joy,

and he sprints,

loosening slings of seaweed

in his wake


[All text (c) Sophie Rashbrook]