Sailing Under False Colours

Photo by Ann Smith

I bear away under a flag no one knows
radiance no one has ever seen.
My boat luffs up under a phosphorescent sky.
Hot to the touch wavelengths break
irridescent to leeward in lambent light
mainsail billows something like pink
something like purple.
The sun rises in lime green.

I'm an infra-red sailor on an x-rayed deck
beta beamed
gamma masted
discarnate as an offshore breeze
blowing spectral vapours
along ultra-violet cliffs.
Everything about me is close-hauled

Shelley McAlister

Published in Sailing Under False Colours, Arrowhead Press, 2004

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