by Robin Robertson
The sudden sea is bright
and soundless: a changed channel
of dashed colour, scrolling
plankton, sea-darts, the slope
and loom of ghosts, something
slow and grey
sashaying through a school
of cobalt blue,
thin chains of silver fish
that link and spill and flicker away.
The elements imitate each other:
water-light playing on these stones
becomes a shaking flame; sunlight
stitches the rock-weed’s rust and green,
swaying, sea-wavering; one red
twist scatters a shoal like a dust of static
⎯ a million tiny shocks of white
dissolving in the lower depths.
The only sound
is the sea’s mouth and the ticking
of the myriad mouths
that feed within it, sipping the light.
Dreaming high over the sea-forest
⎯ the sea-bed green as a forest floor ⎯
through the columns of gold
and streams of water-weed,
above a world in thrall,
charting by light
as a plane might glide, slowly, silently
over woods in storm.