Water Music


Stephen Nelson







My skin and the surface of the sea

are the same, according to the girls

who pluck eyes from peacock tails

for the sake of utopian boutiques.


I fish a lake in the dressing room,

where pearls in mud are crashing

lights the curtain crops with mirrors.






Sequins dazzle the blind goat

who sails his song in staccato

barks along the estuary towards


the sun where you dress as fire

and water without compassion

for my antediluvian heartbeat.






Her purple dress in the harbour

is the daughter of a broken night,

when seals like sleeveless flesh

arrive as sublimated moonlight.






A boat, at night, in a pink kimono, fishing herring from the violent fog.









Stephen Nelson is the author of Lunar Poems for New Religions (KFS Press), Eye Jar (Red Ceilings Press) and Thorn Corners (erbacce-press).  He has published poetry in numerous magazines internationally, including BlazeVox Journal, Big Bridge and Otoliths.  His last book was a Xerolage of visual poetry called Arcturian Punctuation (Xexoxial Editions).  He has exhibited vispo around the world, including the 2011 Text Festival in Bury, and contributed to The Last Vispo Anthology.  His poetry has also appeared in The Sunday Times Poet’s Corner and various anthologies, including The Poet’s Quest for God (Eyewear Publishing).  Stephen Nelson is online at and at