Keri Hulme

“It is still dark but she can't sleep anymore.
She dresses and goes down to the beach, and sits on the top of a sandhill until the sky pales.

Another day, herr Gott, and I am tired, tired.

She stands, and grimaces, and spits. The spittle lies on the sand a moment, a part of her a moment ago, and then it vanishes, sucked in, a part of the beach now.

Fine way to greet the day, my soul... go down to the pools, Te Kaihau, and watch away the last night sourness.

And here I am, balanced on the saltstained rim, watching minute navyblue frinches, gill-fingers of tubeworms, fan the water... put the shadow of a finger near them, and they flick outasight. Eyes in your lungs... neat. The three-fin blenny swirls by... tena koe, fish. A small bunch of scarlet and gold anemones furl and unfurl their arms, graceful petals slow and lethal... tickle tickle, and they turn into uninteresting lumps of brownish jelly... haven't made sea-anemone soup for a while, whaddaboutit? Not today, Josephine... at the bottom, in a bank of brown bulbous weed, a hermit crab is rustling a shell. Poking at it, sure it's empty? Ditheringly unsure... but now, nervously hunched over his soft slug of belly, he extricates himself from his old hutch and speeds deftly into the new... at least, that's where you 'thought' you were going, e mate?... hoowee, there really is no place like home, even when it's grown a couple a sizes too small...”


Keri Hulme
tags: beach
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