PARADISE ISLAND, BAHAMAS
The sting ray slipped from the azure surface
of the narrow, empty sound, its wings
and tail so large and swimming in the air
for what seemed so long, we stared, speechless,
and, after it had gone, said: ‘Did you see
what I did?’ and looked along the silver beach
for others who’d seen but no one seemed amazed.
MIRABELLA GULF, CRETE
Under the cobalt waters are mermaids,
Minoans, Cretans, Venetians, Turks, Britons,
Germans, lepers. Above are ferryboats,
jet skis and mottled sea snakes which slither
like sibilants onto flat rocks beside
the corniche. ‘Look,’ I say. You do – and shudder.
DEGANWY PROMENADE, WALES
We watch the Conwy mussel fishers, each
in his own skiff, at low tide, rake the bed,
see the shells clatter into buckets, hear
the men joshing – an immemorial trade.
We find a piece of driftwood – no bigger
than a pocket knife – chafed by sand, stone, oceans.
Because of the knot in the wood, the sea
could only shape it as a tail and head,
one side a snake’s eye, the other a ray’s.
Chance, symmetry and perseverance…