Eye of the Sea

Bonnie Manion

Away to the horizon, no being in sight,

stretches the great gray eye of the sea,

enigmatic under drifts of fog, lashed with wind,

troubled under cover of glowering cloud.  A spate

of rain attends the shorebound writhing trees.


When the morrow opens clear and calm, I will pierce 

the  shimmering skin of the sea, dip into the edge 

of a lapping wave, peer down into the swaying currents 

and watch fishes come forth from their rocky roosts 

to swim along with me:  stripped sargent majors,

citrus angelfish, purple-banded parrotfish,  silver sea chubs,

blue bottlenoses, surgeonfish, orange-harnessed triggerfish,

translucent trumpet fish, long-snouted barracuda fry,

whiskered catfish and  many kinds of wrasse.


In minutes, I’ll spy thirty species in as many colors 

within the eye of the sea, swaying in synchronized schools 

or in simple singularity; they’ll weave unconcerned 

through transparent waters, suddenly dart into coral tunnels, 

dive under a reef overhang, hide in its niches.  They’ll swim

along with me, below me, oblivious of me-- under the surface 

poking snouts where my fins stir up the sand, smell the molecules 

streaming past us, sense predators but ignore snorkeling intruders.


No shorebound creature can see into this eye of the sea, only

the one who slips through its invisible surface membrane to loll

among the creatures and currents that stretch into the deep.