Tuesday, 29 May 2007



We berthed in Madelena on her feast day -
She who'd washed Jesus' feet with tears
And dried them long hair that had been touched
By countless men, she who'd been delivered of seven devils

The waves were high and mist hid the volcano
While the shearwaters hugged the foam white topes
She'd been first to see, after crucifixion, Him -
A gardener risen from the earth

Will you allow us in now Magdalena
Can we find new life in you again?
As we pollute the seas can you heal
Our disease - if not, what on earth shall we do?


Beneath the sky
The peak
Beneath the peak
The volcano
Beneath the volcano
The spring

Inside the spring
The cloud
Inside the cloud
The peak
Inside the peak
The volcano

Atlantis Dream

Atlas shrugged
And rose, the summit of the gods
With sometime help from Hercules

Here arose Atlantis
Where cobbled squares were paved
With wisdom until inundated

She sank,
in prophetic catastrophe
The dolphins forsook squares

For sea,
And only a volcanic
Reminder remains

Rainbow journey

A rainbow's end at dawn
Glittered here, high on this cliff top
Ready for take off
Gold leaf shimmering at our feet
A crocus bloomed
Silver sparkled on the ocean
Azure sky beckoning us to leap
Onto this bridge of fractured light
Into the future

Another resurrection

It was a place
Where bees and bats
Were blown out to sea off course
Accidentally seeking out
The sweetest, not the sour

One bat, more than half-drowned
Was found and,
Being brought back to land
Was hospitalled in a towel
In a bucket in a bedroom
And fed all night on sugared milk.

Next day
As the other bats flew at noon
And I took down a breakfast dead fly,
She showed me the captive creature
And as it tired to feed, it climbed
Blind as if in panic, out
Of the towel, onto her hand,

Then suddenly
It took to the air in flight
Full and whole again like the Magdalene's
Brother, but bolder, high and further

Spiralling up and out of sight in the bright noonday
Seeking to be lost again.

Dolphin swimming

The deep blue,
Bluer than blue,
Azure cathedral
With stained glass
Light spiraling up
From the abyss

Bringing with you
Dolphins, dolphin
Upon dolphin
Cascading as many
As you could see
That filled the eye

As many as you
Could hear, that filled
The ear with songs
And clicked in
Mackerel balls,
Sonaring us, seeing

Through us, and beyond
And then, were gone

Blue Void

When You go
Only the blue void remains
Filling it with our imagination
We grow afraid
With infinite dread

Mystic whale

I saw You in the
Whale's eye

In the dolphin's leap
In the fish's flight

Moth-like over
The glittering, limpid waves

I lost You
In the whale's dive

As her twenty tons
Slipped gently beneath

Our boat, no ripple
Or splash, phluke fluming

Her silent farewell
I knew You in the whale's goodbye.

Distant visitor

Touched ten
Thousand miles

Sharp beak
Here, shore to shore

You dived in
Reckless, unlike, but

Following unto
The ends of earth

Seeing sirens

I could not follow
Though you
Impelled me

Each time
Coming as close
As you, or perhaps
I dared

Then going on,
Looking back
At my clumsy
Trials to

Go deep, stay
Deep, until, seeing
New clouds in the
Blue skies too far
Beneath the waters

I sensed
That in going on
There would be no going back

And so I turned
And returned
To my world
Refusing you, wondering
What might have been
Perhaps not yet ready
For the final void.


One day the sea
Was filled with plankton
A thick green soup
Rich in food for whales
But no whales came; instead

A turtle, upturned coracle or grail
We dived in, evacuating the safety of the boat
Forsaking Maria's beauty
Thirsting for an oracle
That would never speak.


Drifting by the shore
Swimming together
In the shoaling mass of fish
Fleeing the dolphins' lure

He saw her, found her
Guiding me there
I could barely see

His youth, my eyes
His freedom, my

Confusing in blurred
Underwater vision
The path to freedom


The little town
Once home to whaling fleets
Boats of ten men guided by the flags of the Virgin
Wrestling 70 ton of whale
With wooden spears

Giving way in time to factory ships and exploding harpoons
That, across the world, gave no quarter
To Job's Leviathan
Until in conscience, and fear of extinction,
The whaling stopped
Or pretended to be stopped
Whilst Japan, Norway and Iceland carried on,

Little Pico abided by the rule
And slaughter turned to tourism
So that those of us mesmerised
By the haunting beauty
Of the biggest mammals ever to have lived

Can watch in wonder
And seek to understand
As the once wealthy town slumbers in poverty
Beneath rumbling Pico
Warm and uncertain
Waiting for Atlantis

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