We found ourselves on a vessel. Unless
some inner-ear ailment skewed our balance
(to equal extent, all five of us leant)
the sea itself lay aslant. A canted
planet perhaps? The sea was dynamic
in a bouncy way. Autonomous waves
moved in inscrutable ways. Some loitered.
The sea's skin was opalescent, opaque
and wobbly; more ‘set' than ‘wet'. "Colloidal, "
said Troy, toying with his kumbaloi. "I
guess a multitude of moons must conduct
the tidal flux." Several contrary
breezes fluttered with a buttery touch.
Oozy clouds sagged like warm Camembert and
Myra said, "Reminds me of the prairie
dogs, the waves I mean, I think they're tracks. Life;
things tunnelling, finding food and smooching."
The sea smouldered with a marcasite light.
I dipped my toe in (to the dispute not
the sea) . "Subsonic thunder or music? "
The theory earned me a dismissive glance
but I fancied that their ears were straining.
Why else would a cohesive surface dance
if not inaudibly resonating?
It rained. Our skins wore an oily raiment.
A wind juddered. We all shuddered. "Alive, "
said Clive. "Fools, can't you see we've been swallowed.
We're sailing in a stomach full of bile.
We must row, row, row back up the dog's throat."
Clive was always a bit of a sod, so
we ignored him and sulked. Then Cuthbert said,
"I've got a great idea for a prank." He
climbed (up) . "Come down, " we cried, "you'll break your neck."
Out on a yard he demo'd his ‘planking'.
We cheered; took his picture; ‘twas top-ranking!
Diane Hine's Other Poems
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