East Neuk Storm
The wind has tormented the sea for three days:
whole trees bob in the frothy brown shallows
and gulls shelter in the harbour, cramped
and calling between useless fishing boats
like irritable children kept at home.
Late summer butterflies struggle to escape
sudden shoots of spray; they veer away,
damp and heavy, their lives almost over.
A sparrow is taken unawares - he rises
above the waves and settles up the beach,
inspecting two creels, torn from the sea bed.
There are pale fish in one, two lobsters in the other,
or rather, one inside and the other pitched out,
their enamel blue-black as a bruise.
Previously shortlisted for the William Soutar Writing Prize 2011
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