‘I am . . .’

by Magnus Dixon

I am Magnus

Who needs the salt spray of waves, the reassuring slap of wake and the controlling shouts of “Starboard!” and “Water!”

Who loves the cold push of wind against sail, hull against body, the inquisitive face of the seal and the water’s tingling lapping motion,

Who sees the waves race to the pier, the surge of a gust darkening the liquid turquoise sea; the boat heeling, pushed by the wind’s giant hand,

Who hears the gentle creaking of the boom, the cawing of indignant seagulls chased off a picnic and the rumbling engines of a Peterhead trawler as it leaves port,

Who hates the pungent oil slick on the marina bed, the floating, drifting, plastic bag like a brick wall on a motorway and the absence of the sailor’s deity, the wind,

Who fears the rope’s shadow in his hand will disappear, that the wind might dwindle as if going to sleep and that water will swirl upwards from a jagged hole cut by the rocks that waylay passing ships,

Who dreams of first light’s rays clutching the sea, coating it in golden light; the water surrounding his head forcing its way into his ears and being enclosed by sound, sound, sound,

Who wants to restrain the dusk and force it back, to blow on the sun with silver-vapour breath and see it brighten like a spark and to make himself a robe out of the sea and carry the salt scent, the sounds of terns and gulls and the gusts of wind in its pockets,

Who pretends land is sea, school is a ship sailing into the frozen north and that the wind whispers praise,

Who worries about the sea evaporating, boiling and steaming, the seal vanishing forever, the clouds retreating and pollution’s smog, a deadly sea-haar engulfing the coast,

Who cries when he sees the sand eels floundering on the harsh grey rock and the gull ensnared in fish-hunting threads,

Who tries to co-ordinate himself with the weather, the wind, the sea, to throw up water, carving the sea into a fizzing blizzard with speed and to clear the buoy in an arc like a waterborne eagle,

Who hopes that the sun will not set, plummeting into water, gold to blue, hot to cold, eagle to river, fire to paper, burning the sea,