This piece was developed during lock-down when I subscribed to an on-line course called, ‘The Sea, The Sea,’ run by Wendy Pratt. Among the many excellent daily prompts was one about rock pools.
Today the sea is far away, murmurs as it ripples to the shore. I sit on the rocks and listen. It weaves stories it has always told.
I dip my hand into the balm of sun-warmed water beside me. Slip it through the dark glass rock pool surface. My livered fingers reach once more for childish things.
A spiralled silver horn. A Unicorn’s; lost when it was breaking waves, hammering hooves against the shingle.
A mermaid’s purse; silken black. Empty of its precious coins. Now contains thoughts of underwater shimmer.
Then an oval stone, camouflaged. Speckled flickering, melds in shadow. Dragon’s choose the deepest pools, lay eggs which mimic pebbles. It must be left for centuries to hatch a mighty beast.
Through stirring water a shell butterfly drifts. Its wings delicate, pearlescent, flutters amongst sea flora. Sips nectar from this submerged garden.
My fingers touch an empty crab shell. Light, translucent as I lift it. Gleams gold where sunlight strikes. It looks like a platter. Royal enough to serve a banquet at a sea king’s table.
I am old and wise enough to leave these treasures.
Know they lose their charm on windowsills.
But, when I find a hag-stone, I turn it over in my palm. Slip my finger through the hole. Make a wish.
As daylight fades the sea comes closer. Tells me it’s time to leave. I stumble home-wards; the hag-stone a comforting weight in my pocket.
Wishes are ageless.