Walking on a beach without a dog

by Pam Newham

The first time, I thought, would be the worst.
The pewter sea lay heavy as sluggish waves
folded and unfolded over cold bland sand.
I stood and watched the others:
sort out scolding seagulls
roll in ripe seal remains
wrestle with kelp-strands.

But months later when a light south-easter
whisked the waves and thirty four degrees
filled the beach, I watched them again:
tumble tennis balls through the surf
lift legs against bright beach bags
race together in disorderly packs
and, above the waves,
a faint voice calling,
come back.

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Winter Holiday

by Lise Day

The cottage takes off its summer garb
of drying towels, wind surfer sails
slung carelessly at open doors and windows.
Turns its back to the sun, puts on its winter look.

We rise late
when the sunbird circus starts
in the dawn-lit aloes, tiny acrobats
hanging on each nectared trumpet.

A creeping tide pushes our solitary canoe
to the river mouth, the water’s dark
with lazy swirls, deeply matted sedge.
Six flamingos wrapped in the noon haze
stand, peg-legged, staring out to sea.

The evening floods the river silver
we light the fire, pour the wine, play
childhood games, pick up sticks and scrabble
as the moon drags the water out
leaving the sand spit cold and bare.

I Am Eight

by Annette Snyckers

Dry leaves crackle around my ears,
smell of sweet decay sticks to my skin,
I cannot get enough,
I have to jump again
into the raked-up pile.

Under the bare-limbed Mulberry tree,
I run and jump and sink
in summer’s throw-away excess,
and again!
The leaves are very brown,
and again!
The sky is very blue.