Poem: It wasn’t the sharks

During stormy weather and when it was clear…<br /> digital art ©2014<br /> Michael Dickel

During stormy weather and when it was clear…
digital art ©2014
Michael Dickel

It wasn’t the sharks

I lost myself, drowning in waves of sunshine and fear.
During stormy weather and when it was clear,    I dove
underwater to stay out of sight—that is, until sharks came
that one lonely night.   They struck at my legs  and  I knew
I couldn’t walk. They struck at my throat and I wouldn’t talk.
They drank from  my blood  and pissed in my  beer,    but it
wasn’t the sharks that I came to fear          while    drowning
in waves of sunshine and fear. It isn’t the sharks that I fear.

The sun burnt my skin, so I dove in:      the waves drove
the fear   into my heart;   the deep     left me    gasping
where there wasn’t any air; the sand tumbled round
me like I was some rock.   But I was not   a boulder,
nor some small stone—I was just a bit of flotsam
floating alone. Sailors didn’t notice me. Fish
couldn’t see. Then the rhythm of the waves,
blues of sea, captured me that fateful day.

It wasn't the sharks that I feared digital art ©2014 Michael Dickel

It wasn’t the sharks that I feared
digital art ©2014
Michael Dickel

The winds began to blow, you’ve heard it
before, how water rose into a horrible roar,
how the pounding surf shattered the shore,
how cliffs shifted out of the way, and more, all
disappeared into the abyss, all on that hateful day—
the day I dove down and the sharks were not there,
the day I dove down    faced demons   in a mirror,
the day I dove down    and lava         began to flow—

—from the mouth of a poet,    from a singer’s body,
lava does not flow. The cracks in the crust opened
below the floor of the sea      when the waves rose
and I decided to stop singing,    to write no more
words when that fateful day tore   into my soul
and showed me what I feared,     that monster
knocking on the door.   It wasn’t    the sharks
that I feared, that wasn’t my plight. I feared

So I dove in digital art ©2014 Michael Dickel

So I dove in
digital art ©2014
Michael Dickel

the bite of my own teeth      into the flesh
of the sea—   the sea     that tossed me
from continent to continent,    the sea
that lost me      when I couldn’t get it,
the sea that taunted me         to play
in the surf,   to linger awhile,    while
its riptide did its worst—that I would
tear it apart and have no more excuse.

It wasn’t the sharks that I feared, or the sea
crashing around.    I found      that I was afraid
without excuses     I would be saved from myself
and would succeed at last   in being,          just being,
if only for a day. That’s what I learned that particular
way, being stuck in the water, drowning in the sand,
finding my way back        where there once had been
land. It wasn’t the sea or the sharks, it was just me.

The winds began to blow, you’ve heard it before, how water rose into a horrible roar, how the pounding surf shattered the shore… digital art ©2014 Michael Dickel

The winds began to blow, you’ve heard it
before, how water rose into a horrible roar,
how the pounding surf shattered the shore…
digital art ©2014
Michael Dickel

The day I dove down and the sharks were not there… digital art ©2014 Michael Dickel

The day I dove down and the sharks were not there…
digital art ©2014
Michael Dickel

It wasn’t the sea or the sharks, it was just me. digital art ©2014 Michael Dickel

It wasn’t the sea or the sharks, it was just me.
digital art ©2014
Michael Dickel

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Poetry

2 responses to “Poem: It wasn’t the sharks

  1. It’s very strong, Michael. love it. thank you for sharing.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s