on a shimmering day,

I saw the sea fly up

Llandudno Beach

and swallow our sunwashed

detritus –

faded towels, Hang Ten slops, trashy

novels, footprints


as we scramble-watched

it from the boulders,

churning back out to the horizon

with the indigestion

of our lives,

not looking back

to wave

Liquid art

We descend
from the incinerating heat above
through the cool water,
speckled with sunlight,
and then drift
weighted, but weightless
in the silence…

Sculptures of ancient rock conceal
and reveal
an extraordinary profusion of life—
I move closer…a pair of feelers
shrinks back into a dark crevice,
a clownfish nibbles
on a strand of my sunlit hair, the shadow
of a stingray passing overhead…

Suspended in a living art gallery
of creatures, bizarre and magical,
we breathe in a vaudevillean kaleidoscope
of parrotfish, chocolate dips,
Picasso triggerfish, coral trout, pineapple fish,
swarming shoals of baitfish—the exhibition is endless…

Life’s tensions
are expelled through the bubbles
of the deep,
pace of breathing;
my senses are heightened,
but I am completely

Above the brain
coral, a horseshoe leatherjacket
on its side in a cleaning station, enjoys the nibbling
of the cleaner wrasse
in its mouth and gills…

A cuttlefish sashays past,
eyeing me coyly,
displaying its fabulous
Mardi gras costume as I wave
my hand in its direction.

A saucy, painted red-lipped
morwong flicks past,
while a dugong smilingly lopes along—
an underwater burlesque
and Carnivale all rolled into one.
I marvel
at the phantasmagoria of the deep…

The enormous,
gregarious Maori wrasse engages,
while the Neanderthal of the sea—
the prehistoric stonefish—sits unseen
and deadly on the bottom,
camouflaged as a rock.

The dark side is right here—
Look but don’t touch!
Don’t peer too closely into the nooks and crannies!
Don’t dive too long or stay too deep!
And always there,
on the fringes
of my consciousness, lurk
the sharks. Thrilling!
Inhale, exhale,
perhaps a little faster.

Low on air,
time to go, but we will be back
to explore the endless
and search for the elusive
weedy sea dragon.

Look up,
and exhale,
surface slowly…
from my favourite place.