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            JOHN BARTLETT


in Stingray Bay, half-
buried in sand
this shipwrecked ballast-stone

if I place my fingers here
in these indents of memory, I
feel the steel-shod strike of

chisel run up the stonemason’s
arm in some 1800s Dorset quarry
this shock-link spans the seas and years

unites us both in need for more
longtimeness, some solidness to leave behind
but there’s just this cornerstone

this beach, the ever-present
ocean and all those boxes of an
unsorted life that will remain

John Bartlett is the author of eight books including two poetry Chapbooks and a full collection Awake at 3am just released by Ginninderra Press. He was the winner of the 2020 Ada Cambridge Poetry Prize. He reviews and blogs at: beyond the estuary