Coastal Poems

THREE POEMS by James Brush

A Necklace for the Goddess of the Empty Sea

After years in the desert, when he reached the empty sea,
he knelt in the sand and prayed to the rusted ships
bobbing lifeless on the shimmering black waves.
Syringes and glass glistened in the sand like ruined stars.

He knelt in the sand and prayed to the rusted ships.
In the grimy brownlight of evening, he collected treasures:
syringes and glass glistened in the sand like ruined stars.
From these bones of the past, he made her a necklace.

In the grimy brownlight of evening, he collected treasures;
he found bits of plastic and driftwood poisoned with tar.
From these bones of the past, he made her a necklace.
Imagining her beautiful again, he sang like the birds of legend.

He found bits of plastic and driftwood poisoned with tar
bobbing lifeless on the shimmering black waves.
Imagining her beautiful again, he sang like the birds of legend
after years in the desert, when he reached the empty sea.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Desert Years

We drew maps showing river deltas,
our path predicted by the contours
of fingerprints, and we followed
those spirals forever away from home.

Where there was water once,
we marked those places on the maps
and gave them names from dreams.

We camped beneath aircraft carriers,
marooned a hundred miles inland,
and spent nights watching our flames

flicker and dance
like thirsty acrobats

laughing us to sleep
against the rusted hulks
of ruined navies.

In the mornings, we watched the sky
for clouds, for crows.
We threw rocks at the sun.

The rains never came.
We moved on.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Galveston, Last Summer

Early Sunday morning,
we sat on the seawall

watching a laughing gull
eat a fish. There wasn’t

much happening, just the
gulf falling and rising

with the sea’s slow breathing
between hurricanes,

porpoises jumping over
waves, pelicans floating

above the shore and that
gull working on his fish

while glancing around at
a world filled with thieves.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

James Brush lives in Austin, TX with his wife, cat and two rescued greyhounds. He teaches English in a juvenile correctional facility. He grew up on naval bases and though he does not live near the ocean now, he tries to drop by and say hi whenever he can. He writes at Coyote Mercury, and a full list of publications can be found there.

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2 thoughts on “THREE POEMS by James Brush

  1. Pingback: Not Your Usual Media “Coverage” « amy king’s alias

  2. Pingback: “Fleeting” at Verbatim Poetry | Coyote Mercury

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