The Glass-hulled Boat by Kathleen Jamie

First come the jellyfish:
mauve-fringed, luminous bowls
like lost internal organs,
pulsing and slow.

Then in the green gloom
swaying sideways and back
like half-forgotten ancestors
– columns of bladderwrack.

It’s as though we’re stalled in a taxi
in an ill-lit, odd
little town, at closing time,
when everyone’s maudlin

and really, ought just to go
home, you sorry inclining
pillars of wrack, you lone,
vaguely uterine jellyfish

– whom I almost envy:
spun out, when our engines churn,
on some sudden new trajectory,
fuddled, but unperturbed.


Date: 2004

By: Kathleen Jamie (1962- )


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