"Gypsy Sea," by Sterling Warner

Sunrise: necks stretched out like hungry clams
Lurch for the Ibuprofen emperor
Whose numb fingers wave loners to café chairs—
Rivet them to sticky alligator seats, bottom sides
Textured with chewing gum madness; daydreams
Pull life’s canopy over sand and foam,
Seasick tides lick each empowered undertow
Sheer bad luck burlesques diffident efforts,
Tête-à-tête conversations revealing
Epiphany-like promises through opaque glass.

Nightfall: along the coastline, bonfires blaze
Bodies gather, mouths breathe desire, minds re-imagine;
Moving between cosmic and material worlds,
Cleaving mustard greens like an armful of roses, a
Gypsy mystic dances like a whirling dervish
Toe-ring magic fractures limestone bones
Unbrushed by feet for millennia
Bangle bracelets—silver cymbals rouse
Ever vigilant, sleepy-eyed centurions
Stand guard over her Technicolor Roma.

Astronomical dawn: dropping arms signal nocturnal closure,
Dancing legs and burning feet cease
Rhythmically rocking shellfish strongholds;
Dense auburn moss calmly spreads its way south,
Wraps a tranquil riverbed in nature’s sheath,
Guides an Arabesque estuary toward a
Salt water Fiord, lateral moraine, where
Nourished sediment dwellers burrow home
High tides pull ashes, bathe shorelines
Littered with seaweed, driftwood, memories.

A  poet, author, essayist and educator, Sterling Warner has had poetry, fiction, and nonfiction appear in various literary magazines and journals, including In the Grove, The Chaffey Review, Leaf by Leaf, The Monterey Poetry Review, Inside English, The Messenger, Faculty Matters, the Atherton Review, and Metamorphoses. Additionally, he has written five collections of poetry: Without Wheels (2005), ShadowCat: Poems (2008), Edges: Poems (2012), Memento Mori: A Chapbook Redux (2015) and Rags and Feathers (2016). Currently, Warner is writing and assembling a collection of flash fiction.