The Bermudian magazine is delighted to introduce the honourably mentioned poetry works from this year’s Short Story & Poetry Contest, themed “The Sea”.
In The Sea
by Jan Quinn
With his dying breath he told his daughter,
‘Scatter my ashes over the water.’
She waited ’til her tears were slowing,
Took the small boat when the tide was flowing.
Under the moonlight she uttered a prayer
And entrusted him to the ocean there.
She returns each year upon the day,
Back to the spot where she gave him away.
Gazes out over glittering seas
And calls her question into the breeze:
‘Where are the atoms that once were you?
Where did you go to, under the blue?
‘Do you hide in the waters that sweep the shore,
Or the dusky depths of the ocean floor?
In the foaming surf that combs the waves?
On the salted wall of a crusty cave?
Are you there in the flashing mirrored fin
Of a flying-fish in a skirling spin?
‘Do you live in the shifting sands that swirl?
In a feathered oyster’s perfect pearl?
In a barnacle-blossomed sunken boat,
Or the tangled weed on a fisherman’s float?
Do you rise in spume as a crystal sphere,
Or the salted sorrow of a mermaid’s tear?’
She sees him as he passes by
In the silvered path from her to the sky.
Feels him roused from his resting place
In the spackled spray that kisses her face.
He’s never too far to hear or see.
He’s everywhere, everywhere, in the sea.
by Nancy Anne Miller
The wave leaves a foamy line like a string of pearls
on the sand. I want to tell my friend he cannot scuba
dive at Coral Beach Club because he is not a member.
Snorkel inside a brown bag, a crowbar with a mask,
he means to break into a fishy world where flippers
help one fly above reefs. Suspended angel on the sea’s
Sistine Chapel Ceiling, unable to land. The snorkel,
a hook unites air, water. Cow Pollies, Breams, Jacks
dart with fins around large porous coral, the sports
cars circling the Coliseum in Central Roma, where
he often visits. I mean to tell him, but do not. I use
to live here, return often, each time feel tide’s foamy
map pull my feet into its rumpled contours when I finish
a swim: charts where, why, when, and whom to claim.