An Afternoon Walk by the Sea

A Pattern of Islands

Trackways criss-cross the dunes. At every
Crossing the erosion pattern gives clues
To prior walker choices. Snails ooze
Across long grass down mine, seemingly free
Of the fear of predation. Have tiny
Parasites forced their mollusc brains to choose
The limelight over reticence, to lose
The safety of humble obscurity?
Aestivating heath snails clustering
On stems of wild fennel sport faded
Psychedelia, spiral zebra stripes,
Exposed but unmolested. No birds sing,
Not even seagulls. The shrikes departed
With the Spring, but why are there no thrushes?

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