We walk by your side in the silence of crabs
as your mocking laughter ripples
the sea’s crypt. Too close, your mud-flesh
sucks at our feet, sinks them
with sly sips, sucks and swallows.
Your distilled Cretaceous soup is home
to one who drums his fingers in the dark,
jaws snapping in the tunnelling depths.
Long reachings taste children’s legs,
unaware of a huge digestion in the deep.
We bring you gifts of skimmed stones,
cigarette ends, plastic bottles and bags.
You give us the ruin of shells,
vomit a brown yeasty froth,
spit out bodies of the drowned.
During high tides and storms
your fingers reach up our garden paths,
sneak under doors into our houses.
And at night your tentacles whittle down
the star-draped heavens.
‘Something Lurks’ by Annest Gwilym received a Special Mention in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (May 2018) judged by Derek Adams