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A Charming Coterie by Catherine O'Brien

Less make-believe and more,

belief-making - is the sea’s love for me.

Under a commotion of jealous stars,

it rushes around me emptying its blue heart

where my seashell ears should be.

I teach its falling ladders of salt energy

where to reach, whence to ladle.

I granulate sunbeams with a swish of my arms.

I marvel at the winsomeness of the whorls

in the aqua’s whirl.

We dance in clear channels of love

translucent at their core.

We live in turquoise dreams

devoid of flotsam and jetsam.

What is in the mud can make a difference,

the blooms of the ocean snorkel far from the shore.

We remain close, kissing, a hop and skip away

from coastal zen.

Days breaks, and the sun catches

azure blues to meander through.

The waves are candy floss under ultraviolet light,

Mother Nature’s been snacking on modern fare.

Together we savour the panoramic view

of wide straits of floating calm.

I play rock, paper, scissors with a pearl-eyed shark.

I want to ask about its ampullae of Lorenzini.

I test a langoustine’s encyclopedic deep sea knowledge

then I piggy-back on a melodious turtle’s back

whose crooning cannot outshine his dimples.

I sink to work on my sea gull’s wings

and become raptorial as the need arises.


Catherine O’Brien is an Irish writer of poems, flash fiction and short stories. She writes bi-lingually in English and Irish. She holds a Ph.D. in English Literature. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Orbis Quarterly International Literary Journal, Reflex Press, Ink Sweat &Tears, Ellipsis Zine, Tiny Molecules, Gone Lawn, Bending Genres, Books Ireland, Splonk, Flash Boulevard, Janus Literary & more. Her poem ‘Embezzled Emotion’ published in Janus Literary received a Best of the Net nomination 2023. You can find her on Twitter @abairrud2021.

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