Feb 20, 2020 | Featured Poems

Deep Sea Callings

1. Two Young Scamps

Taunts of coins glinting on the sea bottom
where the cove begins to thirst for depth,
but only to eyes brave enough to catch the slanting
light through the current. Deeper still, a man
in helmet and iron shoes, a father, quarries
for shellfish. His air hose snags and his tank fouls
on the sabre-edged rocks: the boys freeze
into cairns as they witness the ebbing of a life.

2. A Reunion in Palermo

Pensiones stipple the hillside above the docks,
some perch like castle-keeps; in the courtyards,
comforted by bolsters and cushions, the locks
fall away to a knowing touch; and the sloped cobble
clops to the retreat of shod feet and a donkey braying
its way to market on the piazza that meets the sea.

3. The Contest at Sea

The reef frets the aquamarine into ancient eyebrows,
the dive for truth is powered by double-footed fins
and the kick of earth, if that image is not misplaced;
seepage from the life above is pinched shut
by nose-clips, though the ocean weighs like all the sins
of history. Medieval swordfish, two young men,
joust for an accolade that will drain a future
from them, one to ashes, the other to a merman’s fate.

4. Aftermath

As the credits fade, the plot and characters
drowse into hibernation in the dusk
that settles on my living room. By some misstep
or pirouette I find myself thinking of how
my beautiful daughter coaxes meaning,
and mercy, from the confusion of others;
my elder son in a just distant city, an unwritten script
before him, lives a life decidedly his own;
my younger son, music braiding his hair into a lyre,
is steadfast as the dawn; and how the glacier
pulses with love as the farther shore inches closer.


After watching The Big Blue


Photo credit: Julie Scully

More news

‘Lithe Evil’ included in Sydney Crime collection

‘Lithe Evil’ included in Sydney Crime collection

My poem, 'Lithe Evil', is included in the collection, Sydney Crime, published by Meuse Press, available for free downloading at  https://meusepress.tripod.com/SydneyCrime.pdf. Here is my poem: Lithe Evil ‘Shiv”, Shiva the Destoyer, shiver –a sonata of spine and fear–...

read more
Reading in Sydney on 7th May 2022

Reading in Sydney on 7th May 2022

I will read my poems, 'Bashō in the Suburbs' and 'Lost for Words (Intamooga/Black-Footed Tree Rat)', featured in a previous post, at the State Library of New South Wales in Macquarie Street on 7th May 2022. This will be as part of the launch of Return Ticket from...

read more
Basho in the Suburbs and Lost for Words

Basho in the Suburbs and Lost for Words

Poems published in an Australian-Romanian collaboration of 2020 co-ordinated by Dorel Cosma, Daniel Ionita, Zorin Diaconsecu and Menut Maximinian.   Bashō in the Suburbs   a bullnose veranda grazes over tessellated tiles and tuck pointing camellias gardenias...

read more