The Shoal

The shoal sour dries in wind drifts
as the leavings of the ebb come into view.
Shell piles here, sand there, rimmed by
barnacle rocks and wet-rotting weed.

Gulls and terns pick at scattered
remnants of crab and fish,
and lift dying clams high enough
to drop them onto the rocks.

The water almost, almost stops,
a hovering quiver in the shoal’s edges,
before the surge rewets the gasping buried
on its slithering way across the crest.

Men who ignore this ever-change
are trapped by it.
One or two boats a year aground,
one or two men a decade drowned.

Feeding and dying quicken with the flow,
little fish pushed across the shoal
toward waiting jaws,
birds swooping for the crippled.

Force of water rules the shoal,
which heaves its crests and shallows
to appease the ever-flowing god
who never looks back.

The water climbs man-high above the shoal,
And, stirred only by wind
fondles fish and weed and shell
until ebbing implacably into turmoil.

By Ed Ahern

early morning view of rocky beach


Ed Ahern resumed writing after forty odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales. He’s had 150 stories and poems published so far. His collected fairy and folk tales, The Witch Made Me Do It, was published by Gypsy Shadow Press. His novella, The Witches’ Bane, was published by World Castle Publishing, and his collected fantasy and horror stories, Capricious Visions, was published by Gnome on Pig Press. Ed’s currently working on a paranormal/thriller novel tentatively titled, The Rule of Chaos. He works the other side of writing at Bewildering Stories, where he sits on the review board and manages a posse of five review editors.

Photo of the beach at Polzeath, England, by Christopher Hall

The Phosphorescence Lapping

I raise my eyes in silence
towards the vast solemnity,
distant fading stars,
great symbols of eternity,

sensing that there is something
invisible, veiled from sight,
a portal to reach and tear
and reveal a realm of light,

unutterable mysteries
words can never convey,
beyond this time-trapped
confluence of breath and clay-

dimensions
only few have ever seen,
holy men in ages past
in prophecy, vision and dream

but then I know that all
can gaze upon the dew,
the moon upon the water,
the sky’s ethereal blue

or in privileged reverence gape,
in wonder and in awe
at the phosphorescence lapping
so close upon the shore.

By Neil Creighton

full moon on an ocean beach


Neil Creighton is an Australian poet whose work as a teacher of English and Drama brought him into close contact with thousands of young lives, most happy and triumphant but too many tragically filled with neglect. It also made him intensely aware of how opportunity is so unequally proportioned and his work reflects strong interest in social justice. Recent publications include Poetry Quarterly, Poeming Pigeon, Silver Birch Press, Rat’s Ass Review, Praxis Mag Online, Ekphrastic Review, Social Justice Poetry and Verse-Virtual. He blogs at windofflowers.blogspot.com.au

Photo of moon on the beach by Denys Bilytskyi

Autumn at Tranquility Point

Walk into the sand;
a dune avalanche.
Grasses sway to
cool crispy winds;
sound of waves
crashing to shore;
seagulls barter
for tidbits in rocks.
Along the stagnant
shallow festering,
marshy salt pools
near the open sea.
Booted feet begging
for the touch and
soothing sensation of
warm summer sand.
Waves race from the
depths chasing shore
birds and children
all along the beach.
Egrets hunt minnows
as evening greets a
coolish sea breeze.
Another autumn day
at Tranquility Point.

By Ken Allan Dronsfield

golden grass on white sand dunes


Ken Allan Dronsfield is a published poet who was nominated for The Best of the Net and two Pushcart Awards for Poetry in 2016. His poetry has been published world-wide in various publications throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. Ken loves thunderstorms, walking in the woods at night, and spending time with his cats Willa, Hemi and Turbo. Ken’s new book, The Cellaring a collection of haunting, paranormal, weird and wonderful poems, has been released and is available through Amazon.com. He is the co-editor of two poetry anthologies, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze and Dandelion in a Vase of Roses available from Amazon.com.

Photo by Barbara Reddoch

Sea Poetry Laid On The Sand

Born in the dark depths,
brought up by some force,
lines of the sea’s poetry
are laid upon the sand,
one after another,
with ever modulating rhythm,
stretching out in the glow
of the late sun on its way
to the wet womb
of those silent lines.

By Tom Budesheim

red seaweed on a white sand beach


Thomas Budesheim is a native of Virginia, but has lived in several states and 3 countries abroad, pursued an education in 8 institutions of higher learning after high school and earned 4 degrees in history, theology and law. One of the degrees was a doctorate from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. His working career includes faculty positions at theological seminaries in Kentucky, Kansas and Missouri, at the University of Kansas and at the Santa Fe (NM) Community College. He started and operated 3 businesses and practiced law for the past 28 years in both the public and the private sectors. His current projects include 2 picture books for children, a nonfiction book for consumers of legal services and a collection of poems in search of a publisher.

Photo of Hyams Beach, NSW Australia, by Leah-Anne Thompson

Thistle Cove

Cambria sunrise brings
foraging deer, screeching jays,
a rowdy coven of turkeys.
I hike downhill, onto boardwalk trail,
traverse a silver thicket of willows.

Squirrels dart from undercover,
sit up on furry haunches,
begging for handouts,
evade tethered dogs who ache
to pursue and capture.

In a small cove bordered
by mummified scepters
of last summer’s thistles,
surfers straddle waxed boards,
slide ashore on diminutive wavelets.

By Jennifer Lagier

thistles on cliff above beach


The author, Jennifer LagierJennifer Lagier has published ten books and in literary magazines. She taught with California Poets in the Schools, co-edits the Homestead Review, helps coordinate monthly Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Forthcoming books: Harbingers (Blue Light Press), Scene of the Crime (Evening Street Press), Camille Abroad (FutureCycle), Forthcoming: Like a B Movie (FutureCycle Press, 2018).Click here to visit her website. Photo by the author.