• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 03
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You will go down to the sea again

– with thanks to Masefield and Ronsard

Ever since you find the snorkel
in the cupboard in the spare bedroom,
you have been hearing siren songs
of cliffs and coves and carragheen.

Before you even book a B & B,
bath-time pleasures remind you
of the tingle of water on bare limbs,
of silica for beach-ready toes.
A glance through the window
tells you the surf must be up
or that bladder rack is already
conspiring to tangle your ankles.

So leave the plastic duck bathside
and get down with the fishes.
Forsake bathtub fantasies
and seek the seals for real.

Grab your goggles, lug the tight
new wetsuit, worthy of the clingiest
of mermaids, free of its wrapping
and haul your pandemic-pale


You will go down to the sea again

flesh to the shore. Prepare to enter
aquamarine. Or pick up a spade
and bucket for castle construction
and moat making, or snatch a pail

to gather sea lettuce, kelp or dulse;
for cockle picking or crab nabbing.
Whatever your taste, cueillez dès
aujourd'hui les fruits de mer de la vie.