Jan Sand (February 2 1926 / USA)
The surface of the sea
Chipped into hollows by the wind
Waves whitecaps back at me.
I am fixed ashore, pinned
To a static spot to watch the dance
Of liquid edges roiled in ecstasy
At the caress of the air to glance
On surface sensitivity, emoting fantasy.
Below this infinite quadrille,
Untouched by playful atmosphere,
A steady blue-green note does fill
The drowned eye and the ear
With the silent sound of the deeps
Wherein shadowed predators
In lazy body twists and snakey leaps
Exert the rights of conquerors.
Shoals of shining scales flash in this night,
Coordinate in disciplined precision.
Edge on dim, then suddenly all bright,
In single mind decision.
More alien than something from the stars,
A nest of tentacles makes its way on bottom sand
To touch and test all fissures. Nothing mars
Its intensive curiosity, the tentacle more agile than the hand.
Shell arthropods on needle legs with pincer tips
Troop in pizzicato caravans,
Antennae waving gaily in swoops and dips,
Surveyed from above by hungry clans.
Outside the traveled paths
Beneath the gloom of submerged cliffs
Far in time and space from human wraths
A pirate skull stares at underwater riffs
Which play and replay quantum terrors.
Doubloons in dotted lines scribble on the sand
Tales of violence and greedy errors.
Now lies in peace beyond desire and demand.
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