Veils of light playing on the rippling conscience
We were swimming in illusions
drowning in memories
floating down river toward the cascade.
Some of us washed up on shore
Picking the seaweed out of our gills
we gasped
sucking in that other fluid that won’t sink
That bubble fluid
It’s one giant bubble out here!
There’s no room for the water
it falls away,
drips away,
gets sucked into the clouds,
spills into the ground.
We wobbled onto our hind fins
sprouted fingers,
started counting,
built tall ships
to pirate the seas.
The land cracked open and swallowed us whole.

Somehow, we oozed out again.
We’re not primordial anymore,
we’re smart shit.

- Merrill Aldighieri

If you would like to submit a poem to this page on the theme of water click here> for english,  click here> for dutch.
© Aryan Kaganof
Reproduced with permission
For more poems of Aryan Kaganof visit >>
Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,
'Twas sad as sad could be;
And we did speak only to break
The silence of the sea!

The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free;
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea.

excerpt from "The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner" Samuel Taylor Coleridge
All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody Sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.
Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.

photo 1 April Aldighieri,  photo 3, background , foreground


Belle journée au bord de mer
Si on allait à la plage
Et une ballade en bateau
Allons à Pors Cros

Je serai ton matelot
Je serai ton matelot
Je serai ton matelot
Ton matelot

Ce voilier est à louer
Alors nous serons les premiers
Explorateurs émerveillés
D'une île déserte ensoleillée

Je serai ton matelot
Je serai ton matelot
Je serai ton matelot
Ton matelot

Ballet de Dauphin sautillants
Et bancs de poissons d'argent
Dans le sillage toutes voiles au vent
Nous traverserons les océans

Je serai ton matelot
Je serai ton matelot
Je serai ton matelot
Ton matelot

Belle journée au bord de mer
Une belle ballade en bateau
Mais ce ne sera pas en voilier
Dans cette barque je vais ramer

Je serai ton matelot
Je serai ton matelot
Je serai ton matelot
Ton matelot

for Sophie...

Submerged memory

My little sister and I were in the ocean, playing
it was high tide
it was hurricane season
the waves were pounding so hard
new waves ricocheted off the holding wall
like a water-boomerang,
crashing into the next oncoming wave.

We made a game
to tread water where the two waves met...
when they crashed together
they would hurl us up like 2 rag-dolls.
We were ecstatic!
choking on salt water, screaming and laughing.

Grandma ran out in a slip
plastic see-through raincoat
she was screaming too,
"Come in or you'll kill yourselves!"
her fear cut through the thunderous waves.

As I waited for my sister to ascend the ladder
the undertoe grabbed me
I was pushed against the turbulent sands
held down by churning water hands
I managed to raise myself against the crushing wave
only to be turned around and pinned down again
now I was facing the sky, so close, inches away
the ocean was playing a game with me
I was paralyzed by the undertoe
amazed to be trapped in these shallow waters,
I never knew such terror.

The boa constrictor named Atlantic
pounded me against the cement wall
things started to go grey and midnight blue
little clouds of broken seashells like a thousand red ants
biting me everywhere
then the waves seemed to pull apart, just for a second
I escaped.

Heading for the house
I looked back at the crazy sea
and my wet footprints
leaving their elusive mortal trace.

© 2005, Merrill Aldighieri

Merrill Aldighieri
Merrill Aldighieri-detail

Ship’s going down,
 Ship’s going down. This
Ship is surely sinking.
Neon light’s flickering.
 The purser’s lips are tight.
Surabaya Johnny’s got his back to the wall.
There’s a message for Pablo Neruda
at the reception desk,
it’s from Eddie Constantine,
It says, “I studied political silence
 but never quite made the grade”
Tropp-mann doesn’t care,
he’s got Dirty with him.
They’re floating down
La Rambla chanting,
“Our father which art in heaven forgive us
our daily needles
as we forgive them without condoms”
Lazare’s at the airport where
She’s meeting No One Chomsky –
They’re just good friends. She’s not
Interested in Swedish massage. Wants
Him to explain linguistics to her. He says,
“Fasten your seatbelt this aircraft is landing
There’s a razor blade under your seat in case
You get cold

© Aryan Kaganof
Reproduced with permission
We were schooner rigged and rakish with a long and lissome hull
And we flew the pretty colors of the crossbones and the skull.

We had a big black Jolly Rodger flapping grimly at the fore.
And we sailed the Spanish water in the happy days of yore.

We had a long brass gun amidship like a well conducted ship
We each had a brace of pistols and a cutlass at the hip.

It's a point that tells against us and a fact to be deplored, but
We chased the goodly merchantmen and laid their ships aboard.

Then the dead men fouled the scuppers and the wounded filled the chains
And the paintwork was all splatterdashed with other people's brains.

She was boarded, she was looted, she was scuttled till she sank
And the pale survivors left us by the medium of the plank.

Oh then it was how saddening by the aft rail on the poop
You could hear the drowning folk lament the absent chicken coop.

And having washed the blood away we had little else to do
Than dance a quiet hornpipe as the old salts taught us to.

Ah the fiddle on the forecastle and the flapping naked soles
And the genial "Down the middle Jake, and curtsey when she rolls".

The silver seas around us and the pale moon overhead
The lookout not a looking and his pipe bowl glowing red.

Ah the pigtailed quidding pirates and the pretty pranks we played
All have since been put a stop to by the naughty Board of Trade.

The schooners and the merry crews are laid away to rest
A little south the sunset in the islands of the blessed.

for more info about this poet, click here for the Pirates Website

A Ballad of John Silver by John Masefield
Recited to the fleet by Captain Stephen Mann, June 30, 2000 S/V Tawodi Lat. N31:45 Long. W137:50

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One day the tide came in too high.
Higher than expected.
Higher than it had ever come in before.
Fast too. Sweeping in like a shark.
A tide of vengeance in search of prey.
There were no warning signs.
Within seconds the beach had disappeared.
People running. Running everywhere.
Children screaming for their mothers.
Hen-like mothers clucking. Scattter scatter.
I lost a shoe running towards the steps
leading up to the parking lot.
Panic. Too many people.
Too few steps.
And narrow.
Narrow steps.
Built for calm.
One at a time.
But now the crush.
Fighting. Headbutts.
Arms used like clubs. Frenzy.
I broke a thumb. The left one.
A large screaming man fell back,
eye bleeding. I stepped into the gap,
escaped the melee. Breathless to the top.
The water kept on rising,
spreading across the horizon
like a grey umbrella.
At the top of the stairs one last look
backwards. Below me ants screaming.
A distant sound,
as if from the past.
I ran towards the spot
where the Audi was parked.
No more parking lot. No road.
Grey water everywhere. Rising.
Gulls getting larger.
Attacking the children.
Attacking the mothers.
I took off my shirt,
set off swimming away from it all.
From the drowning spectacle.
From the screams.
Now the gulls and
the children and
the mothers
all made the same sounds.
First I did breastroke, then crawl,
then I simply floated.
Let the grey tide take me.
Effortless floating.
I was lighter than bark,
I bobbed like a cork in search of an ark.
The drowning continued.
Eventually it became clear
that the flood was here to stay.
In due course only the highest
mountains remained;
a few small pockets of land.
Great territorial battles between the survivors.
I watched it all with a mixture
of bemusement and glee.
The end happened so fast.
It turned out nothing after all was built to last.
Hungrier than I’d ever been
I started eating my dreams.
Then the nightmares.
Ended up staying awake.
Floating consumed me.
Vague time drifted me
from day into night and back again.
Then less of me floated
and more of me drowned
and I became aware that I was the tide
and it was my time that had come
when the end had begun.

Aryan Kaganof


come up for air