Frontier ~ Julia Rampen

Seagulls skirl

over red cliffs,

smell of salt

in crevices.

Lobster pots

litter the harbour,

a knocked-out tooth

boats pass through. Rockpools

a tart reminder

of rival territories.

Sea flays

the harbour wall.

We skim stones:

patter drowning

stifled conversation.

Sometimes a border

shows itself too late.

Sun drags shadows

across pebbled sand,

casts seaweed

as jewels,

gilds blessings

on the tyre

once a seal

until black water

is gnawing our boots

and scales flicker

in night’s net.

The smugglers’ caves

only a different pitch

of dark.

They left messages.

We reach inside words,

feel life’s grit,

loops tightening,

uneven wall. Stumble forwards,

write secrets of our own.