Graham Catt


for a second or two, out in the bay
an island appears, shimmers then sinks
like a dark wave, pushing against the surf
a rippling chain of granite boulders

one blink, and it has disappeared
we doubt it was even there
just an apparition, a phantom of the sea
cousin to the Loch Ness monster

our eyes strain for a second glimpse
and then again, beyond the reef
a hint of fin, a sudden burst of spray
a barnacled back rises to the surface

excited, we scale the headland
scan the horizon for our Moby Dick
but are confronted by a shifting sea
the illusory effects of light and water

each shadow becomes a sign
each dark shape a possibility
everywhere we look, we see them
the ocean is overflowing with whales


The 2River View, 3_3 (Spring 1999)