The Sea

The man and his small dog performed their shuffling dance.
The crinkly suit the man wore was designed to look like the sea,

his made-up face too, was blue and his mouth, a wet cave
that uttered the crunchy sounds of the sea as well as “crab”

and “anemone”. His hair was white and coiffed in the style
of foam; The man and his dog moved towards the audience

then paused and reversed back again like waves. He, of course,
comprehended his role but his little white poodle

in its blue coat only followed, as waves blindly follow their
predecessors towards the jaded shore. On holiday last month

I was entertained by the action of the actual sea. Each wave
that broke on the rocks at Morte Point was its own show.

Each wave struck its pose and then withdrew, grand
and throw-away, tossed off with the nonchalance of

a well-rehearsed performance, yet always fresh and daring
(or so it seemed to me) in its improvised quality.

The variation was infinite and ridiculous, and there was
a distinct new-agey flavour to the whole splash, as well as a

consistent sense of something magically bogus, a contrived
simulacrum of revelatory meaning.

Mark Waldron

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