We thought, perhaps eight hundred yards,
the Russian tanker
anchored in the pool of deepest azure, just off shore.
We paddled out.
'Let's circle round it' someone said.
Our three canoes,
all kayak singles, slalom kind
But it was more. More like a mile or more.
The sea was warm
and somehow velvety and smooth.
It gently lapped
against the tanker's rusty sides and us.
Small waves in runs
were like a lioness who plays with cubs.
I'd never been
a lion cub, did not expect
the freak wave
like an angry paw that struck from nowhere
without reason -
and underlined the metaphor.
The moon petals the sea. Rose petals the sea. Stone sea. Stone petals. Rose petals of stone. Stone rising before me. Sea moves. How moves...
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extract from the poem Koi by John Burnside All afternoon we've wandered from the pool to alpine beds and roses ...
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