Poem of the Day


Sea Sparkle

(Noctiluca scintillans, Thirroul Beach, August 2014)


After the rain a dull red tide

muddied the angry sea,

and the sky hung low and grey.

No swimming today.


I moped back up to the house to read

and hours had slipped away

when dad called out to me

that lights were on in the sea.


We walked out in the clear-rinsed dark

and down to watch the waves

breaking there in bright

displays of blue-green light.


It had to be magic. Water like fire

flaring into the dark!

Was it a sea-change?—

a thing so ghostly and strange.


We ran towards the breaking waves

and saw our footprints spark

as if we’d gone to play

along the Milky Way.


I cupped my hands and scooped up stars

then let them fall away

and lightning flashed and played

with every move I made.


I was in the universe,

with stars around my feet,

a giant hurling light

at random in the night.


Galaxies were swirling by

tumbling time and space

to sand-grains in my mind.

I’d left the world behind.


© Kate O’Neil

3 thoughts on “Poem of the Day

  1. Thanks Pat,
    This display caused quite a stir with local media – lots of tweeting about it. And Nick Reinberger (ABC Illawarra) repeatedly relished the lyrical sound of the scientific name. It’s an amazing phenomenon. Google “sea sparkle” and click on “images” for some excellent photos – including luminescent footprints!. D/K

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