Algy leaned back on the rocks, watching the sea swirl all around him. The tide had just turned and was starting to retreat, so he felt quite at ease perching close to the water. Occasionally the spray splashed his toes, but only with a pleasant sort of sprinkling. As he gazed across the bay, he saw the silver flash of a fish jumping out of the sea, many white spurts of water as several gannets dived from the sky a wee bit further away, and – way out to sea, nearly on the horizon – several much larger splashes sparkling in the bright light and apparently travelling across the ocean, which he knew must be a pod of dolphins leaping and playing together in the sun. The sea creatures were very active today, and the scene reminded him of a poem:

I have lived in many half-worlds myself … and so I know you.

I leaned at a deck rail watching a monotonous sea, the same circling birds and the same plunge of furrows carved by the plowing keel.

I leaned so … and you fluttered struggling between two waves in the air now … and then under the water and out again … a fish … a bird … a fin thing … a wing thing.

Child of water, child of air, fin thing and wing thing … I have lived in many half worlds myself … and so I know you.

[Algy is quoting the poem Flying Fish by the 20th century American poet Carl Sandburg.]


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