Bio Note: I have lived in a small beach town for nine years now, and what changes and what doesn't alternately amuse, terrify, and amaze me, but they always wind up leading to poems.
Words Matter: Choose Wisely
says the sign on the red and white cooler in my neighbor’s front yard. Kids on bikes, curious walkers, tourists who wander off the beach lift the creaky top. We find smooth stones, egg-sized, still heavy with the mountain they long ago deserted, each painted with a word. Should I prop open my door with imagination, anchor fly-away papers with song, or ponder oblivious and obvious as bookends? Sunrise could last all day on the mantle, and I could fiddle with detrimental in my jacket pocket without causing harm. Visitors will surely depart with dolphins nestled in duffle bags, a teenager will tuck courage under her pillow. I choose wisely, so understanding remains for the home that needs it most.
Originally published in Gyroscope Review, Spring 2021
Carnival at the Beach
Summer rolls out on six truckloads of pink and green dragons with scooped seats, blue horses and pink cats with feathered caps and grinning faces that don’t wave goodbye. Last year for the carnival. Hello condos. I’d wish the ghosts of purple dinosaurs would hiss through the concrete and haunt them, but you can’t blame people who won’t even know they’ve trampled magic under their flip-flopped feet.
Leave your dreams in sand: sculptures of sea turtles, sleeping unicorns. Etch them with sharp edges of shells— love stories: Leigh and Lynn, Happy Birthday Marcus. Even as time vanishes in the clean sweep of tide, Maria + Jason forev
©2021 Joanne Durham
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