25 April 2011

Sink or Float?

I could love water
If I were like Plato in the cave
And I thought that
As my diaphragm
Pressured all that liquid
Through my bronchioles
Bubbling the ends of each alveoli
Puffing my lungs with H2O,
That it was just the idea of water
Overtaking me in waves
Gripping my body down
Like angry Poseidon
Sharpening his trident for my arrival,
Grinning at my flailing limbs,
And not a heavy wet death
Amassing in my terrestrial lungs.

My water
In its ideal form
Would massage me in security.
Lift me in a damp caress
Atop white-capped shoulders.
Present me with the respect
Of a gray-bearded sailor,
Whiskers adorned by an old tusk tobacco pipe.

I could love water
If it didn’t squeeze my chest
With fifty fathoms each time
My toes barely tiptoed the sandy bottom.

I could love water.
But I don’t.

Image from Tiago Fioreze

This was to be based on a Big Tent Poetry prompt about floating. I chose to write from my inability to float. I'm not so fond of swimming, But I actually love that water-if I'm not directly in it. Boats are great. So are life vests. Oh, day 25. 


  1. You certainly described fear of water quite well here. I've known a few people, who feel exactly as you do, M.A.S.
    I love the water myself, but I think drowning would be a horrible way to die. They say it is quite painful.
    Excellent write.


  2. Thanks, Pam. It's a weird relationship I have with water. I love boats. I plan to go charter fishing again this summer. I just need a little distance from it.

  3. Isn't it intriguing? We are all borne of water, floated safely in its caress, pre-birth. But, oh! How foreboding and forbidding it can be now, when that sense of panic sets in.

  4. Yeah. It's a conflict for me, Kim.

  5. Cool poem! I'm afraid of the waves, but do like the water and still swim in the ocean on extremely rare occasions. :)

  6. I don't love it either! I hate waves and I hate being in over my head. Now, the Gulf of Mexico I can deal with-it's warm and shallow and calm with the occasional dolphin in the distance!

  7. Diner, Thanks.

    Rachel, I think swimming is best done in pools.

    Mouse, it depends on where along the gulf you're going. I thought Mississippi and Alabama beaches were nice until I went to the opposite side of the barrier Islands. It was beautiful. This was, of course, long before they were tarry black.

  8. I totally relate - a fear of my head going under the water, but a love of the sea. So good to have found you through Poets United.

  9. I think this one's going to float!
    I like the way you recorded your fears here.

  10. Thanks P.U.

    Thanks, Andy. Fear is pretty strong-good poems stuff.