Monday, 23 April 2012

Spotting, watching

I do not know the names for clouds. But I know what I saw.

Today a pod of drooping white whales hung low in the sky. Some silent, some sighing. A mobile mass, heading off showers of krill, following the course of the wind.

I watched as their presence turned tall towers of convective air, bundles covered with blankets, into submarine coral mounds – shadowed, mysterious. Watched as it turned bird flocks into flying-fish schools; surfing the high air, skimming the low slung cetaceans’ upturned tails.

I watched this underwater, overland show play itself out on a layered stage with a bright, back-lit glow. Someone spying from the hills behind would have seen me sitting patiently underwater - a stone sunk heavy and calm, settled driftwood in a valley on the ocean’s floor. They would  have observed the cool current gently ruffling my hair, seen my light shirt buoyed by the salty surrounds.

And they would have seen me linger as the scene eased itself apart; almost-real whale flesh returning to formless vapour, water to air. 

But they certainly could not have detected the small twinge in my chest. Nor watched my eyes close softly over. Nor seen me sense that if I sat there long enough, the very same end would be mine; almost-real human flesh turned sand or soil, blown on wind, washed in waves.

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