Oily colours float on a flaccid sea.
Over a shallow tank, one arm length square,
she dips, wipes, flicks the droplets to disperse

a fleet of globular boats,
which skitter
across the meniscus.

Each one will trawl in her carrageen ocean
for a holding cradle of bull gall while
seaweed soup buoys up her pigment vessels.

With a wire she navigates in twirls and twists
among the floating colours.  They are cajoled
into elastic patterns.

As gently as a mother with a sleeping child,
she covers them.  She lifts and shows
a captured fleet,

aground forever on a paper sheet.

© Sue Lansdell