Under the Squid boats

Richard Reeve
29 Cargill Street
Dunedin, New Zealand

Deep South v.3. n.1. (Autumn 1997)

Copyright (c) 1997 by Richard Reeve

Brim. Hron-rad. The squid boats
are laid out over that literal wetness.
Each light is a small hiatus
in the dawn: sublimation of its
inconstancy, though from the hill-top
that splay of water seems smooth.
Under them, it churns - a colloid
of salt and squid clattering against the hulls,
every clunk involuntary, and yet
deliberate, persuasive as a rock-fall.
All labels trawled for it come up bare;
it slithers through the holes in letters -
only to split itself on some stab of land
in a rage of inscrutable logic.
The brawny ocean, whale's road -
names rendering the thing's muscle
as an incursion, that watery bulge
that pushes into our breathing space
when we drown: this is our sea.
And yet also is that sweltering sense
of limitlessness, the broad outside,
our sea - at once huge and particular:
a rough-faced paradox, on which
the squid boats seem jostling thoughts.

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