Fruits de Mer


In the sink
headless, squirming curls of flesh,
frothing in blood,
writhe rhythmically towards death.
Gills gape grotesquely on the draining board.
Milky eyes watch the jelly boil.


Fins fumble for a niche
to hide from the ebbing tide.
Salty clown-lips await water.


Coelacanthian shadows -
grey ghouls in the murky depths,
filtering the silt of aeons.
Soft lips savour the dead.


Dry-stone dappled,
flatbread flesh
shimmering into soft sand.
Dragged from the depths to the deck in seconds,
rough hide rasping the weathered wood -
accusing upturned eyes and sideways sneer.
Pancake-tossed on shaved ice,
growing limp, drab, flaccid -



Shell-shocked, they scatter -
seeking the mercy of the shore.
Beached on blazing shingle
to stare, wide-eyed,
at a strange sky.


the steel spike strikes
at the heart of the whole.
Salt-sheathed, precious epée:
your rough hide binds bones
that shine like tears
in emerald eyes.

Carole Houlston

If you've any comments on this poem, Carole Houlston would be pleased to hear from you.

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