The uncoiling wave hovers a moment
caught between sunglance and foam.
Catch the incandescent moment in a loop of light
and hold it to yourself alone,
Catch the spangled spray in the finger tips at the minds end
And lie spread-eagled on a seconds dome.
Passing the Pescadores a flying fish lept and flew,
a drifting tern, nodding at the sea, tripped a wing on a wavelet
and turned again towards her barren home.
The dreaming Pescadores!
Sunwink on spray and lighthouse blink,
a flying fish lept and flew before the prow's dividing wave.
The first sea-mists of Japan, the smoke haze of our ship
both vapours swirl together above the small
light at the mast head.
This much the ship has always known
but that far off coastal light and I on this damp deck
usually see the one without the other.
Between the word and the realisation
there's a space where none may go.
Even authors in their blind conceiving
know not the meaning of the seeds they sow.
Maybe the universal music master cannot understand the pain
that rings from his own bell's chime
and durst not seek an answer in a world he cannot know