they called it some kind of miracle
a body so long in the water
that he should run his tongue over the skin
and taste the salt upon it.
finally the mariner spoke
of waves cut with the finest shark fins
of staining the diaries of the fishermen
in whose nets he hauled aboard
"with honest wrist and filthy mouth
describe what you see here in simple terms
the fine detail coloured with clumsy brush strokes..."
"i offer only three decades down
save for wrists still churning with her
fierce and urgent now
former glories are recorded here in tapestry
each and every stitch a reminder
of the heights which we will never aspire to climb
now conversations twist themselves in riddles
and a final gesture becomes text mispelt"