‘Carcinus’, Mark Totterdell

The beach is a zillion sandgrains,


At the top, where the cliffs might tumble down,

there’s trash and treasure dumped by the tide;

this perfect-sculpted brittle carapace,

those countless plastic scraps

that a man grabs with a plastic litter-picker

to put in plastic sacks,

Sisyphus in a high-vis jacket.

What can I do but wish him well,

though he might as well try to bail out the sea

with scoop after scoop of this crabshell.