Heavy lidded, she hauls bulk over clinker
to a meagre patch of sand on this volcanic
outcrop, to set her flippers digging.
They’re better designed as propellers than spades,
inadequate blades for flicking silica, scooping
a dip for a clutch of soft-shelled ping pong balls.
She cries her midnight tears, drags her dome
to the spume, paddles her giant helmet back
to Brazil, to await her date to mate again, turn
turtle to this mid-Atlantic dot to do it all over.
Watch, meanwhile, for a twitch in the grit
as mini disks emerge from their depression
to zigzag seaward, if not picked off and scoffed
by frigate birds, trailing a carnage of sprogs,
a scatter of abandoned jam jar lids. But a few,
left unflipped by swooping bills, will scamper
to water. Hatchlings, evading marauders,
defying gulls, gullets and intestines – not shat
to the benthos, but braving waves,
their compass set on instinct westwards,
bound for Fortaleza and Natal.
CONSPIRING FOR BEGINNERS
He aspires to a tower
but pudgy fists and stubby fingers
are ill-equipped for scraping skies.
Each wooden brick
tests his small hand’s span.
Babykind intent on Babel,
succeeds with only three,
then they topple, predictably.
That high rise was not to be.
Now it’s a game and I’m complicit in it.
He knocks them over deliberately
and squeals at his own anarchy.
Then he sees my smile,
then he points at me.
THE NEW CIRCADIANS
When calendars and diaries had been destroyed,
we began to ebb and flow with moon and tide
and seasons. Soon we found that our cycles
had coalesced. We woke with the sun, sought beds
at moonrise, synchronised egg-release and shed,
hibernated from Guy Fawkes Night to Boat Race.
There were no pyrotechnics, no ships or yachts,
just meteors to entertain us, and dugout logs
to fish from – hugging coasts, avoiding rocks.
We had time to dream when we ditched the clocks.
Sharon Larkin’s ‘Interned at the Food Factory’ was published by Indigo Dreams (2019). A collection is forthcoming in 2020. She has been widely anthologised (e.g. Cinnamon, Eyewear, Smokestack) and published in journals/e-zines (e.g. Magma, Prole, Ink Sweat & Tears). Sharon is Gloucestershire’s Stanza Representative and publishes at Eithon Bridge.