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The Sea-Child

When I was a young child
I once swam naked in the sea
And drifted synchronous with jelly fish
That glowed like silent clouds around me
And calmly greeted me with sinuous bows

A little older and the water warmer, deeper
Mask and suite protecting me from danger
Of Man o’ War and spine fish, I appeared bizarre
So was rejected as an alien creature
And thrown exhausted on the shore

Once we were all sea-children, basking in the sunlight
Smooth like whales and dolphins, scorning the coats of ape-kin
We swam midst coral, rich in salty silence
Lagoons of clear water, then language brought us culture
And made us into hairy land-locked cave-men

Time soon pushed me from the sea-shore
So in the middle age I walked the highlands
Seeking the high peak summit of all struggle
While around me flew heralds of the ocean
Calling, calling of the sea

Then the words of all my kindred
Come indistinct and muffled
Like echoes of laments from ancient sea-men
For a lost and fallen hero
Marooned on a foreign island

On western sand-hills, midge-bitten
The gulls cry ‘Go back, go back’
The waves, below, bellow ‘Seaward, seaward’
Under northern lights all sound deserts me
First high wails, then bright surf-song

At last, contented, I shed my clothing
Leaving behind the chill shore-line
The world of voices fading
I glide quietly into the shining water
And am once more a sea-child

So now I reside in the ocean depths
At home with jelly-fish
And other water-children
Silent apart from distant calls
Of whale and dolphin

The Sea-Child

Stephen Frost

Haywards Heath, United Kingdom

  • Artist
    Notes
  • Artwork Comments 2

Artist's Description

What’s this about? Who knows. It seems to be a standard ‘traveller tale’. I did once swim with my children amongst jelly-fish at Gairloch in Western Scotland, not naked though! That probably gave me the idea.
i have just noticed how many of my poems involve animals. I wonder why!

Artwork Comments

  • MissKristy
  • Stephen Frost
,
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