Off the Coast of Turkey

Dawn aboard this gulet bobbing on the blade-smooth
Mediterranean. A sluggish sun gradually fires the cliffs.
Onshore, the village cock delivers his full throttled
good morning, a perky bird, so sure of his global role.
A chug-chugging sounds on the water: a couple steering
their outboard, setting out to catch worthy fish.
Other fishers follow, the same chug-a-chug of engines,
the same type of craft, small enough for two to lift
and carry. Now the village donkey bellows, and
the minareted imam summons villagers to prayers.
To stern of my boat, thousands of silver anchovies crack
open the mirrored surface. They loop out of the water
straight into the beaks of hungry birds. The cock pipes up
again, less convincing, in rehearsal for all the tomorrows.

James Gering’s poetry and fiction have appeared in many literary journals including Rattle, San Pedro River Review and Rockvale Review. He teaches English at the University of Sydney in Australia. Away from work he revels in nature – climbing, canyoning and running trails in the pristine Blue Mountains. He welcomes visitors at his website, www.jamesgering.com

See more of his work in 8.3 and 8.3 again