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The Turning Of The Tide

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The Turning Of The Tide


… and the ocean’s spoke

in a voice of wrath and anger

that sounded like dark pebbles

rolling towards the shore

in a blood red tide,

‘You have given us your detritus

and so we return yours’.

And their tone

was accusatory,

and their vengeance swift…


It started on a sunny day

with naked bodies basking

in warm August sun.


No one noticed the rolling bank

of sea mist gathering on the horizon,

but as the warmth leached from the sand

they started to gather together belongings

to make a hasty exit.


Too late


for the bloated, bladdered seaweed

that washed up with the spume ridden waves

grasped against baked bodies

and clung on,


crabs scuttled over legs and arms -

nipping, clicking, clacking, ripping,

drawing blood


and then they came


the crew of U-123,

scurvy pirate hordes,

murder victims, mutilated,

shark attacks and worse,

the crews of the Mary Celeste

and the Mary Rose,

Buccaneers and Admirals

and all their prisoners and crews.


Clambering to free themselves

from years of brine and decay,

hungry for the taste of flesh -

to gorge on something warm,

to drink a rich brew of blood,

To satiate their thirst

from centuries of salt water

and meagre rations.


None were spared

as the decayed

devoured the living,

freshly braised

in sun tan lotion -

slow to recognise

the coming threat.



…and, when the grey mist cleared,

the beaches were deserted

of human habitation

but were littered with

empty plastic bottles,

Cola cans, baby wipes,

nappies, straws,

supermarket bags


and driftwood,

floating driftwood,

ancient driftwood,

blood soaked driftwood.


…and the tranquil sea

shimmered in the evening light -

crystal clear to it’s depths.



day 13NaPoWrirMo 2019mysteriousspookydestruction of oceansplastic pollutionrevenge

◄ Vesuvius

Raising The Standards (With Banners Held High) ►


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Martin Elder

Sun 14th Apr 2019 14:55

Yes this does seem a very different style for you Ian. But none the less a thoroughly enjoyable read in which you never fail to impress.
Magnificent words my friend

Frances Macaulay Forde

Sun 14th Apr 2019 06:05

Very clever - atmospheric... drew me in too, Keith.
Thank you, Ian for this very different Gothic fantasy poem...

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keith jeffries

Sat 13th Apr 2019 20:03


This is a masterpiece of poetic imagination in which I was taken to that very beach. A story is told which draws on past tragedies and present decadent life styles; their distance and incompatibilty and the awful consequences when they meet. I raced through it at first but then needed to re trace my steps to absorb the full content of this excellent poem.

Thank you


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