Ocean Breeze

Ocean Breeze


A new world streamed

in a skirl of song, in the hum

of the tidal loom. The braiding

of the wind in the wave

in a kiss.


All dissolved

in the sift of brine,

the caress of breath.



all else. No more

schemes. No more

death… only dreaming

our soft and woven selves…

only ever this.


This poetic fragment was inspired by Astrida Neimanis, a Latvian native and now a lecturer at Sydney University, who has coined the beguiling term hydrofeminism. She proposes that our responses to the world should be more in accord with the nature of water. How we imagine ourselves and our relation to the environments that sustain us needs to be more fluid and adaptive, more dynamic, less wedded to rigid categories of thought, and less bound to a language of hard noun definitions.

She says:

We are all bodies of water… We flow through the planet as the planet flows through us …As watery, we experience ourselves less as isolated entities, more as oceanic eddies… The space between ourselves and our ‘others’ is at once distant as the     primeval sea, yet closer than our own skin …. Water is between bodies, but of bodies, before us and beyond us, yet also very presently this body too… Water entangles our body in relations of gift, debt, theft, complicity, differentiation … . 

Neimanis invites us to enquire, then, what it might imply for us to become ourselves as bodies of water, ebbing, fluvial, dripping, coursing, traversing time and space, pooling as both matter and meaning.

How does this transfigure our relations to those forms of life – mineral, vegetal, animal or human – we interpret as other, even as we are embedded in their fields of connection, and they in ours?

About Mike Steward

Mike is a writer, working on various projects – verse translations, articles on modern poetry and ancient texts, and the import of the later plays of Shakespeare. Prior to this, he was active for many years as a child-care consultant, devising and teaching compassionate responses to early trauma. He lives in the ‘wild west’ of England, in Stroud, a haven for artistic dreamers of all kinds, and birthplace of the Extinction Rebellion movement.

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