In the middle of the bright Atlantic
Floating on the swell between island volcanoes
Beneath reflective surface tension
Silvered gas bubbles catch the light
And, across the issuing rift
A long snake of data cable
Broken sheared twisted
As the gas breaks the surface
We hear voices
Blogs bubbling to the top
Instructions to buy or sell
A thousand tiny voices
Sparkling in the sunshine
Several parrot fish swim by
Next day when snorkelling
I fancy I hear fish blogging
My poem ‘May Ball’ is published today over at Silver Birch Press as part of their One Good Memory series. Each May (around the end of the academic year), the various colleges that make up Oxford University each hold a Ball. In my twenties, I was a member of Wolfson College, a very modern college which only has Graduate Students.
This poem was written on the morning of the Ball — I was still wearing my bright yellow ballgown!
There are towers, tall and round, no windows and, at the ground, simply one slender doorless entrance where I find wide shallow multicoloured steps girdle the wall, spiral up, up and up. Lens shaped fat floors hover at random heights, can be accessed by leaping across a sweeping chasm. I leapt and slid across the silky slippy surface of a convex floor last night and am still falling down and down, watching the floor rise to devour me. Yet here I stand waiting to ascend once more.
A voice asks: What pecks now at the bleached bones of your ideology and who weighs the sins that you will not repent?
I do not know but must climb anew until I locate an answer in each crying smile of the many small children that gather around each tower, hands pressed to the walls.
Moonlight has banished an ocean of stars, pouring molten bronze across the ocean where limpid waves stroke a pebbled shore. A harsh breeze crashes across our equipment as if breaking on a reef Distant creatures call evenings end, sharp disembodied sentinels of the night. We lock ourselves in and wait.