At Sea by A C Clarke (Lucent Dreaming Issue 7)

The steamer smudges the horizon
of early stars – so he imagines
adrift on a deserted ocean, headed
nowhere in particular. Flat on his back
he eyes the ceiling fans lethargically
pushing at heated air. All day
the sun hangs overhead like a paper lantern 
he can’t tear out of the sky.

The steamer pushes on through nights
dense as treacle. He’s visited
by eyeless statues or by one red mouth
laughing, laughing. Sometimes a woman
tall as a forest but without a shadow
sprinkles his eyes with dream-dust.
When he wakes it feels like falling: the dizziness
of what he is forbidden to remember.

The steamer plods a well-worn circuit.
No surprises. But for him each morning
dawns identically strange. He plots the journey
in black across the flatness of a page,
hasn’t a clue where he is. Even the shadows
fall differently here. Against his cabin wall
a play of light off restless water. A continent away
a friendship slips its moorings.


A C Clarke lives in Glasgow. Her fifth collection, A Troubling Woman (Oversteps Books), came out in 2017. She was a winner in the Cinnamon Press 2017 pamphlet competition with War BabyDrochaid, a series of poems in Gaelic, Scots and English with Maggie Rabatski and Sheila Templeton was published by Tapsalteerie in December last year. She is currently working on a series of poems about Gala Éluard/Dalí and her circle. The first set of these is due to be published as a pamphlet by Tapsalteerie in 2021.
Browse issue 7 in full.
Lucent Dreaming is an independent creative writing magazine publishing beautiful, imaginative and surreal short stories, poetry and artwork from emerging authors and artists worldwide. Our aim is to encourage creativity and to help writers reach publication! Subscribe to Lucent Dreaming now, support us on Patreon and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

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