Ok, I believe it's only life-like if you're talking about something that isn't real (or living) but appears to be. The way I'm using here is meant more like "life that is similar to." That sort of like. So I don't think the hyphen is required, in that sense.
Thanks for your comment! I remembered that I still hadn't posted these.
You have a unique but never overwhelming sense of vocabulary, in its diversity. Before this poem, I might have argued that we're not water creatures... that water isn't our element - but after reading, I'm rather certain I've lost any argument I would have had. Very convincing! I adore the imagery you use, as always. Picturesque, beautiful, and never not breath-taking (like that double negative? I'm good at those).
I'm thrilled you've been writing as much as you have been lately. It's a real treat.
I'd nominate this for the weekly, as with the majority of your poems, but I think each poet can only win once a month, and you already had your win this month :)
Can't wait to read more poems from you, Sibby. Don't ever stop!