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Harbour Shorn

Night and day, two crewmates spend their time avoiding fish work in their hammock together.

Lost at sea, with only a starry inkling guiding their map.

The two fall deeply in a net for each other.

With only half a catch onboard.

They count their losses together.

Till, one lip blistering sun-high day, she shoots a look that says, ‘We must get to port. NOW!’


He knows just what to do. So, he scrambles to the medicine cabinet inspecting the jars.

Luckily, there’s a pot of leaves used to crush into food for prolonging a pregnant ‘gold’ fish.

He ogles a poison vial used to herbicide still birth lesser fish, to keep cages free of rogue kids.

Leaves are added to precious last drops of shore water, fisheyes, with a twist of lemon peel.

The life extending recipe is brought to the labouring woman sitting hammock-side.

Just as she raises her elixir to her lips a storm rolls over the boat.


The storm poses significant threat in the abandoned anywhere position they happen to be.

He pulls the sails, while she retreats to the cabin and steers.

Rain replaces stars in the ever-thick mist of high-sea storm.

Their aqua-marine boat is tossed from side to side, removed from any discernible direction.

With the sails down they’re lost to the wet table’s forces.

They shake in the cabin hammock together.

She fires him eyebrows with a pinch that scream, ‘Not like this!’

The two bob over navy canyons till being pushed out one side of the gust and gale.


By daybreak their small vessel narrowly finds an empty harbour outside of nowhere.

He kicks at the boat to kneed it into shore.

Leaping from the vessel, tugging at rope, he drags the boat into the soft natural harbour.

He ties it to a rock, leaps into the sand, then kisses and hugs its moveable yet firm embrace.

His solo kissing display doesn’t slow her landing on the beach.

Kicking from the boat, she screams for help, but he’s lost in dunes of land-hysteria.


She throws her back deep into the sand of the shallows.

Cocking both legs, digging heels to tide’s mouth, shrieking from shoreline to horizon.

He soon leaves the dry sand and tends to his vulnerable sea monkeys.

She leans back with a ‘Heave-Ho!’ look in her eyes, and plants a baby in his cupped claws.


The baby doesn’t scream, or kick, or ask for context.

There’s no wailing and moaning between his grip and grit.

She can’t make out the life it wants to live by any new-born timbre.

They hug their child in the rowing low tide.

Neither can bare to give it a name.

They can’t shoot anymore looks.

Their eyes and mouth pit with stillness.

They lay with it for a minute or more.

Then without deciding grip, they let it go into the shore waves of outward.


Their precious cargo wavers out of the bay.

It still catches sunlight from this distance out from shore.

Until a group of proficient swimmers buoy out to their lost soul.

A pod of scarred, net-torn dolphins carefully nudges at the stiff youngling.

When the babe’s silhouette leaps from the water and falls back in with the pod.

And that’s why they call it Two Pleas and a Pod Bay.



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