Glass Bottom Boat

© Melissa Dalton-Bradford and, 2012.  This work (text and images) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. . . which means, as long you’re not selling it, you’re welcome to share, but please remember to give me a link and mention my name.


And speaking of the “Empty Sea”, the following is a piece I wrote when a visit to an aquarium caused me to think for days and weeks on end about the relationship between the seen and the unseen realms.

Glass Bottom Boat

London Aquarium

April 2010

Have you come to the depths of the sea

At the ends of the deep walked about?

Job 38: 2

Heaven is a glass bottom boat,

earth, the liquid deep

where the wild aquatic pageant

bullets round in schools carving sleek lapidary waves,

or slinks past, languorous

as metal syrup.

These depths vibrate with life.

As does the boat

from which countless cloudless eyes observe

through transparent walls.

The eyes trace all creation:

pumping gill; thorny nozzle; nobby tentacle; jellied limb;

whiskered jaw; pouting lip; lavender scale;  sequined skin;

peacock-feathered fin; organza glamour sleeve;

glow-orange acrobat; bloated magistrate;

swanky length of leathery ganster;

slate eye of cruising tyrant;

courtship dance; feeding frenzy. . .

From crustacean to whale carcass

reel the heaving  sloshing hordes.

Microscopic , droll, massive, venomous, pure

underwater mystery

coolly adrift,

yet rapt in the survival swim.

closely seen,

yet blind to the seers.

Life hugs heaven’s hull,

laps and licks its sheer bow and stern,


Creation floats by its creators’ eyes,

fins waving,

mouths gaping as if with song,

bubbles rising,

if but to disappear on the surface

where they join the waft

of out tide.

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