Child Sweet

It was Kid’s Adventure Day and we were picnicking on a remote, unpopulated beach. Clear pure water, large waves thumping on the shore, a long sweep of empty coastline receding away into far-off, pale mountains. On the horizon great columns of cumulus cloud were banked up, imperious and towering over the empty wastes of sea. Dozing on the beach I am ambushed and buried in the golden sand, then decorated – only my face visible – with starfish, seashells, sea scraps dumped by the last tide, my poor head, burning in the sun. Rummaging now in the lunch box for some scraps of paper, wanting to scribble a poem.

Child Sweet

Your love prised me open like a clam
numb heart opened
to an oyster pearl of giggling joy
nose twister
bouncing on my poor chest
like a mad puppy
growling in my ear
tiny hands pushing flesh
into a dozen pleasing shapes
putty face stretched into a
samurai, frog and monster.
And now you deck me out
in nature’s finery,
a beached, snoring Neptune
bejewelled with flotsam from the sea –
cat’s eyes and kelp, pale sea lettuce,
bleached herring bones and
coral shards for teeth.
Aroused from my mock sleep
I rear up, roaring
and you rush into the sanctuary of sea
shrieking from this monster you’ve created.
Under a warm sky
I cast off clinging robes of kelp
spit sand
and guard your playing in the tide.
Child sweet, frail thing of flesh
I guard your playing in the tide
with my own quiet eyes
of love.

– Jogyata Dallas.


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