The Coral Mother

A slow dancer ruffling shingle; like silk
Casting the skin of a cold courtesan
Tides and time cannot tame her.

Grown from change
With sun and rain
Her bed of crushed shells
Ground by motion
Circles of wind and planet
Clipping the land
She spews what she will
Over the feet of cliffs
An offering
She licks their bended knee
First gentle
Then as titan pounds
Her body grows up harsh and hard.
Gulls like delicate crones
Negotiate her beauty
Its price; a closet for the shards of fish.

The salient sand smoothes tangles
From her gown, bids a fond farewell to
Sailors caught short as they fall for a last
Deep drink and deeper yet puppets shifting.

With the tide; limpets clasp empty throats
She covets gold pearls on carmine oyster lips
In her bawdy house of blank scull smiles.