Her Hands Were of Flint and Tinder
And there the island stands
In defiance of the salt god
who is peppered with our unending and unwanted gifts.
Volcanic rock with a scalp soft for roots
that birth homes for many and fuel for few.
The shore is rocky and the distance great,
but the prize of fruit and fuel may match the journey.
A woman with wild tales and rambling hair wades in.
She knows there are sharks, an undertow, and jellyfish. She smiles
and dives over a cresting wave.
The salt god responds and the waves flex
but the woman knows to kick, stroke, breathe.
The ocean is vast and tireless.
She fights slow and smart
and will not stop
for the shore is aflame
and the island her only salvation.
The Shapeless Storm
The downpour is upon the strangers
through the streets they sprint
testing every door until one gives.
A bar—only spirits with an old man
whose shaky wrists grip a shotgun.
They wipe their faces and shake their hands.
An errant drop,
glistening with sapphire, ruby and emerald
flies high on to the window
that separates them from the torrents
washing everything away.
All three stand and stare
at the peculiar drop
and its backdrop of chaos.
It begins to slide, slow at first
leaving a trail in which the strangers see
reflections of silence and escape.
The barman bites down
thunder masks the report and his tumble.
Lightning shatters the window
the strangers fall together with glass in their eyes
as the pale blue dot
rejoins the shapeless storm.