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The owl we heard last night hoots near the road

and a fox barks deep among the oak trees.

Though it is moonless and the sea a sliver

of a different dark, light pollution

from the small resort to the east

means we must find the westernmost wall

to lean against and view the stars tonight.

We see them trembling and marvel, wordless,

so many more than we ever remember.

We forget they are always above us.


‘What is the sky for?’ I asked my mother

and she said, ‘To hold the stars,’ and I wondered.

‘What colour is the sea?’ I asked my mother

and she said, ‘The colours of the sky.’

‘What is the sea for?’ I asked my mother

and she said, ‘To give us life,’ and I knew.


A discarded bottle returns sculpted,

an iron spar rusted, shapeless, their journeys

unchartable but so much remains –

so many bones unburied, so many

stories unfinished – for there is no dark

like the deep of the oceans. Corals

that we will never touch, blind creatures

we will never see teem down, down in the

cold, indigo ravines.





© Copyright David Selzer
2 Responses
  • John Huddart
    January 26, 2018

    This is purely a belter! What magical touches of Prospero are herein summoned! Now is the time to read the romances, but never to throw the book into the deeps!

  • Sarah Selzer
    June 5, 2020

    That is so evocative! It conjures up a purity that we’re seeing again due to lockdown. Love it xxx

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