Crab

A crab washed to shore on Long Beach, WA

Crab

Shannon Laws

A foam washed wreckage to shore
breath-bubbles pop in the thin light

Early beachcomber fights the gulls
for a freshly delivered treasure

The minute before dawn you grab it’s back
Carry it to your kitchen for a slow boil

With a crack, a glut of juices spill out
Lips suck at the muscle and warm butter

An ear to the empty skin echoes the sea

 

What inspired you to write this?
a friend at my monthly poetry discussion groups asked

Well, I heard a line from some poem at an open mic.  It went something like, he sucks the juices from your claws, eats the muscles from her claws
I started to think about how the line could be used in a domestic violence poem about allowing another person to take your strongest parts, your claws, and devour them, you know, boil them for dinner

That sounds like a great poem!

Ya.  It could have been, but I couldn’t get it to work.
The right words didn’t come

So, WHY is the sea in the empty skin and whose skin is it?

The sound of the sea is in all things born in the sea.
In this story, it is a song that sings the memory of the crab

I don’t get it.

ya, the words didn’t come.
It needs new words

 

Poem: For Selene

photo credit borgenmagazine.com

For Selene

by Shannon Laws

 

The Earth’s weavers are busy
their low wages and long hours
fruit of their labors stolen
by mouthless machines

nature weaves for us a
marvelous blanket
new every morning
No one questions the cost

We stand peacefully in line
wait for our treats
listen to hits of the 80’s
to drown out the sound
of meat grinding

Poem: Broth

sizvideos-water-hole
Water hole in Portugal, Serra da Estrela, Covão dos Conchos. in summer

Broth

Ten dollars an hour for twelve hours
—watch, stir, refill, stir again and watch.
My tool a large paddle punishes coconut clumps
Beats at them and their natural oil-tendency.
Tomorrow I’ll beat at raisins
Somebody’s gotta do it.

My day hovers at various levels of self-induced hypnosis
I’m on a lake of coconut directing my boat to stay still, hold still
do nothing but wait my turn to go down the cyclone

Leave the job to muscle memory
exit the body to float above the nation
visit the places and people of my imagination
I am someone else.
I am somewhere else.
A person who eats expensive granola

Meat cooks in water, bleeds out juice
Vegetables roll with the bubbles, lose their color
a slow boil
a long boil
add noodles
Soup