Point and Barb


Storm of my making, near landfall.

From the strand, I wait; I sit,


Then stand and sit again, watching hulls

Of dark ships crush sea, pass as if not


Passing, plodding as life.  Haul me

In! I shout; net me like a sea


Creature, carapaced and stupidly

Triumphant in the net-sweep—


Better by far than the hook’s point

And barb, bloodied mouth, solitary drag


Through the hard, un-wounded waters.

Dear me, I’ve bit my lip: I taste a woman


Near, rain-carried, black muzzled

Mouth, blood-salt and sea.



- Jon Ballard