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.


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.

Winter is lifting away

by Kerry Hammerton

Winter is moving away, lifting
its sombre face, turning towards
the North, hungry for the bite
of snow and dark days,
hungry for gloves and long coats,
for skiing and snowball fights.

Winter is tired of this dreary
Southern winter, tired of cloudy skies
and grey rain, tired of cold houses
and unsuitable footwear.

Winter is weary of storms
thrashing against beaches,
weary of wind, of floods,
of creeping salt-filled fog.


by Annette Snyckers

I woke up to mist this morning,
in stillness it draped
its wispy web
over the tallest treetops
and lingered languidly
in the valley until midday.

Now the mountain
has reassembled itself
in my window,
droplets shimmer in the filigree
of bare winter branches
and catch the sunlight
in a prism of sparkling colour.
Depending on which way
I tilt my head –
flashing crimson,
flashing green.

If I could look at problems
in this way,
vary my viewpoint
even slightly,
perhaps I’d also be amazed
at the change I see.

Thoughts in Winter

by Annette Snyckers

In the cold of winter I stand bare,
my faults stick out like unpruned shoots,
hard and dry, my flaws revealed.
Angry winds have denuded me of green
and sap stands sluggish in my veins.

I long for warmer days,
for the swelling buds of spring
when I may hope
for yet another flowering,
when yet again the lavish cover
of leaf and blossom will conceal
my basic brittleness.


Winter by Kerry Hammerton

Winter (1)

Even on blue
sky days,
there is rain.

I catch streaked
of you,

turn my head.
You disappear
into mist.

I am waiting
for snow.

Winter (2)

Stretches her naked arms
to the sky,
curls her toes
against the frost.

Winter (3)

Climbed into my bed,
dampened the sheets,
scratched his fingernail
along my spine,
complained about the warm
socks on my feet.