On The Sea, a video projection by Ange Leccia in which
               the tide is filmed from above and projected onto a wall.

I  View from Above

Water crawls toward us
and slow as breath
draws away,

approaches, retreats, because the way of tides
is back and forth
as surely

as the way of people
is to attack and possess. The powerful say it is this way
because this is the way it is
with fear and retribution.
They give us this day
our daily fears

until the moon pulls the tide
and the tide stands on edge,
our minds perform

a handstand, the violence
surrenders, and all

it takes is to see
from a different angle.

II  Landscapes of Water

Now it's a Chinese landscape scroll

now a glacier
without gravity
melting into space

now a mountain
on the back of a whale

now a forest
married to rain

now the light
illuminating the snowflake
inside each drop of water

III  Evolution

In the erotic rise and fall
of muslin waves
the storm in the spray
is white thunder
declaring the aspirations of water
that wants to be air.

IV  The Shore

Water brings to land
its depth and its darkness,
the flavour of salt
and the cold
of infinite distances. Land gives back to water

its flint and its sand,
ashes and rust,
its thirst and crumbled empires.
Water reaches,
land resists.
Land speaks in consonants,

water in vowels,
and we come to the shore
for the silence
their language holds inside itself.

V  Sacrifice

Here is where mountains go
as they dissolve
when evolution hurries
to catch up with the pace
of industry.
The last refuge
of the rainforest
is the longing
to be tall again
with its head in the clouds.
The desert, once
under water,
goes under once more
with its purple flowers bleached
and its sunsets
washed to grey.
Here are the faces of the gods
tired of telling people
what they wanted to know,
draining from icons
and frescoes
and the altars
on which the sacrifice
was too little too late too burdened
with interest
ever to be repaid.

VI  Memory

The world's memory of itself
is beyond translation
into language; it is the record
of what might have been
had we only recognised
it was addressing us
who could have saved it.

VII  Illusions

These waves could be rumours
of disaster
or messengers riding away
from extinction.
There could be hope in the swell
or the tolling of bells
at the end of the end.

You could be inside a cloud
looking down
or under water
where dreams are the only reality.
It could be dunes you see
shifting with the wind,
it could be a continent washing away.

It could be a veil drawing back,
revealing water
as the soul of time.

      David Chorlton 2005