David McDonald

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 New Year New Life
there's a beach to the east
full of white and blue
where the sand squeaks
and the smell of cricket
drifts heavy in the air
beers are thrown around
like classic catches on TV
kayaks hit the water
splashing happy in turquoise
bare chested bodies mess with white wash
boys and girls build castles of sand
other tired bodies relax on back seats
the whole beach smiles with content

one particular new years eve
a red kayak crashed and paddled
crashed and paddled
then crashed a final time

the smell of cricket vanished
beer poured back into bottles
turquoise turned black
castles collapsed

a desperate body thrashed
too far from the kayak
slow cooking in the swell
soon to be served to the sea

a second body suddenly appeared
as if the hand of god itself placed him there

only now there were two odd socks
wreaking havoc in a washing machine

they were drowning
they were unlikely stars
in an ugly game of hell sport
seconds were minutes
minutes were hours
clamps tightened on spectating necks
willing the final siren

fear and terror were tangible

then from nowhere
a merciful ocean apologised
through morbid waves of sin
giving birth to wounded soldiers
like 100 suns shining through a snow cave
they staggered and stared blank
surviving a battle only veterans know of

today for reasons unclear
a life I know
was spared


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