Tuesday, July 05, 2022

New Poetry by Ed Southorn

Hard Currency

An escaped prisoner on a beach of jewels
Suspects perfection in abundance is worthless
So I look for the damaged and the miscast
Among these cast away houses of the dead
Smoothed in rocky baths of foam and salt

A bride weighed in mermaid brooches
Malabar cowrie and wampum strings
The Bornu King’s revenue paid by every man
Flicked into money by the calligraphy brush
Sewn into Solomons cloth exchanged for kina

All this wealth minted in waves
Measured on the tide
An economy underfoot
Whorled pure under clear eyed sky
Enabled agency circumscribed
By attention to place
Until outstripped by white desire
Outlawed by silver and gold

A flint eyed miner made twitchy
By the fossil exchange
Might say the floating hoard
Is given up freely
If shells were money
After fire and flood
Beachcombers could be wolves
So I tell no one

- © Ed Southorn 2022

Ed Southorn lives at Bermagui, a small coastal town in New South Wales. His recent poetry, essay and memoir are in Cordite Poetry Review, Meniscus, Blackbox Manifold, Ekphrastic Review, The Blue Nib, Axon: Creative Explorations and The Journal of Wild Culture. His PhD in sociology and narrative journalism explores contested space.   


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