Saturday, 22 December 2012



Bone becomes stone. Here where the sun neither rises nor sets; beyond where light will not reach, where gravity gives way to pressure. Creatures of the deep slide through darkness with grotesque elegance, with their own blind beauty. Eyeless, some cast a futile glow on sterile grit, a circle of radiance into which particles of death slowly fall. The only motion here is downward.


A thin wind ruffles the sea’s surface. Hardly a breath. The sky’s reflection is hidden in the loose waves, darker now, a captive. A rolling race of tide comes in, carrying the last memories of long-blown storms. Under the curved sky, the energy of the wide ocean rushes to shore.


Tide rises. A long swell approaching land lifts the kelp forests and comes lightly to shore. The breadth of sky-reflecting water and the wind’s last energy hide the sea-world from our own. Piece by piece, fragments of each fall or rise and, on the rippled surface, drift to rock and stone beaches, to pebble-shallows and bright pools of mermaid’s hair.


Like a ghost, I rose in the water and the sea turned me upside down. I felt so insubstantial that the tumbling water seemed to run through me, while the waves breaking above my head brought me inevitably to shore. Carried by the swell, I lay among the worn beach boulders. The push and pull of tide rocked me, like a baby, back to sleep. I resisted and stared at the high mackerel sky, at the folded clouds where the sun was hiding.