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By John Metcalfe

He stared beyond his feet.

Saw nothing of the green sea swell.

Or the white spray, like pearls of cuckoo spit.

Just the glistening rocks.

He wondered how much it would hurt.

Flesh and bone

against the stone.

Blood polluting the surf,

green becoming red.


But only for a moment

because the tide washes everything clean.

Not everything

A mind contains thoughts

And thoughts cannot be erased.

Like feelings.


You came into the world as something

Yet will leave it as nothing.

Opportunities grasped

So many allowed to slip

through fingers both careless

or unprepared.

Many high hopes

buried in a trough.

Love’s labours never realised

Never mind lost.


That’s the cost.

He stared beyond his feet

Couldn’t see beyond the bleak.

The nondescript

The weak.

Sometimes you know you are beaten

before you begin

That surf, those rocks

Will gather you in.


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