The Miraculous World

From a bothy
spun around a pole   odd tree
in a place without wood
its sills, shells    its windows
onto water and the cliff
where our men lean outward
roped over waves

she watches her father climb
through the sheared air
holds him in her sight
out over the dark    all I saw of the minke
triangular fins of coasting sharks
the gannets’ dive    the explosion
that comes to us across the water

At the end of his route
he’ll show her a pinioned boulder
triangle of air    she might
step through:    we’ll hold her
in the net of our observation    unroped
in a place sheeny with quartz and salt
that slants away

to the waves’
white rushing and falling back
the sharks’ dark fins
the ballet of gannets
their light bones    their perfectly
aerodynamic skulls    diving into
all around us
the miraculous world


from The Body in Space, Shearsman, 2014

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