Full fathom five thy father lies,
of his bones are coral made;
those are pearls that were his eyes;
What the sea does, and does so well,
is to embrace and change
all things to its cool element.
From the Titanic a suitcase is lifted,
like a drowned dog, its body leaking;
folded, laundered shirts are stained.
A pile of crumbling junk, that ship;
crunching bacteria fasten
nibbling mouths on its very steel;
the railings’ fur of barnacles
outlives the stoles of women.
The champagne may still be drinkable.
On the ocean floor in pliés
pairs of boots point outward toes.
Rusticles hang like crystallised tears.
Shoals of fish play small chase
in and out the rusty portholes.
Where is Hartley’s violin?
This poem was published in my 2007 collection. The Way We Came (bluechrome)