She had a doctorate in sea lettuce.
When she walked, she squelched.
The webs between her toes
stuck to the floor
and the sea dripped down her back,
Phytoplankton shimmered in the
pools she created.
Running her hand through her long tresses,
The lettuce was spread,
sown into the floorboards.
When she stepped off the podium,
finishing her lecture,
She waded through a sea of green.
The harvest began after she left.
The Barnacle’s Penis
The barnacle has a penis
All out of proportion
to its owner.
The blue whale
has the largest heart in the sea.
Man has the longest knife.
It cuts the throat of Poseidon,
filling the ocean with blood.
The hungry sharks feed,
Growing fat on death.
And the blue whale’s heart
Breaks in two.
While the barnacle’s penis
shrivels to nothing.
The Boxing Day Swim
We walk along cliffs screaming with gulls,
The wind whipping my hair wild,
stiff with salt, cheeks slapped red.
We stop to admire seals below,
Lolling in the sand,
Fat sausages at rest.
A flipper lifts, then a tail.
One moves worm-like towards the sea.
The dog at my feet barks to them,
Huddles at my feet.
Clouds fling bitter pellets against us
And the pleading eyes whine for somewhere warmer.
Just one more glimpse of the sleeping seals,
Interrupted by the unexpected.
Figures, four of them,
Crawl from between the rocks –
Their pink and white bodies step into the surf.
A seal lifts its head,
Curious to see these blubberless creatures
Step into the stone-cold sea,
Their quivering buttocks, enveloped in the foam.
Shivering at the sight, I turn away
With the dog, wincing at the bite of the wind
And head home,
somewhere warmer than Neptune’s embrace.
Thick fog of sleep
Slowed my steps down the dark stairs
At the bottom –
A patch of white, on the entry mat.
A stain of unknown origin.
Perhaps a lost cloud had seeped in
Or a flurry of snow,
A small, white poodle.
Curious, I crept towards it,
Dipping my toe into what was bright against the night.
No substance there
But moonlight, bathing my feet,
Blessing them with magic.
I could see her then,
Ripe and full, hanging in the sky
Ready to be plucked.
Go into the woods
Hold hands and dance.
Call me down.
I am waiting.
Frances Gaudiano - Has recently had poems published in Last Stanza, Witches and Pagans and a short story in Mythulu. Last year, Veneficia Press published her novel - The Listener | Veneficia (veneficiapublications.com). Her non-fiction work includes several articles for the veterinary press and a textbook on Veterinary Dermatology.
Her ‘day job’ is as a veterinary nurse, a profession she has enjoyed for nearly thirty years. Prior to becoming a veterinary nurse, Frances earned her M.A. in Dramatic Literature from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She worked in theatre as a stage manager in England, California and Indonesia. She also briefly taught school but soon realised that animals are much easier to work with than children. Currently, Frances resides in Cornwall, England – a beautiful, dramatic place where you can occasionally swim with a seal.
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