Guest Poem by John Muro

A two-time nominee for the 2021 Pushcart Prize, John is a resident of Connecticut and a lover of all things chocolate. His first volume of poems, In the Lilac Hour, was published in 2020 by Antrim House and it is available on Amazon. Since then, John’s poems have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including Barnstorm, Euphony, Grey Sparrow, River Heron and Sky Island. Pastoral Suite, his second volume of poems, was released by Antrim House in June of this year. Instagram: @johntmuro.

Sea Drift

Something of this place stays with me still
and the hand-cloth of memory will not allow
me to wipe it away. It’s pinned beneath a
world that’s beyond forgetting and smelling
always of salted brume and rusted metal and
the nearly sweet scent of diesel fuel and oil
that would lazily drift upon the surface of the
water in mylar plumes of Prussian blue, iris
and ornate bronze like eerie, non-ephemeral
rainbows spooling and dismembering beneath
the splintered shadows of the docks or along
the scavenged banks that housed the worn
implements of nautical toil: ragged tents of
canvas, cables, traps, anchors and mangled
tackle; and standing further on, the brighter
scatter of bundled sails, tall as cypress trees,
casting tapered shadows that seemed to slip
across muscled wakes and the crest of waves
while gulls would wheel and curl above us
in garbled greetings, their manic staccato
silenced by the approaching thrum and plush
rumble of trawlers with limbs outstretched
like a trapeze artist seeking balance. and,
on wind-still days, crooked sheds releasing
their musty odours of decay, and disfigured
cottages, bereft of shingles, adorned with
flaking, chalk-white shutters and rooflines
powdered with grains of mica in midday
light and piers punched deep into the glazed
lather of rockweed and slime where earth’s
rich effulgence had been preserved and
was slowly disgorged while faint clouds of
sulphur would silently rise and fill our lungs.