“If there’s magic on this planet, it’s contained in water.” –Loren Eisley
Diving is one of the most otherworldly experience a person can have while still on earth. Immersed in a different world than that of everyday life, one sees wonders that open the heart and boggle the mind with the beauty of the natural world.
Drifting through the water, eyes attentive to fish activity and the surrounding terrain, a diver grows conscious of being both a drop in the ocean and an intimate part of the intricate interweaving of all that is. Snorkeling alongside a whale shark is a rare opportunity allowing a direct experience of that wonder.
Spangled with starry dots and pale streamers on its blue,
night-sky body and the size of a bus, the world’s largest fish,
the whale shark, journeys thousands of miles seeking
warm water and nourishment from the tiniest bits of life
in the shallows, filtering plankton, krill and small fish
through its enormous mouth, along with
a thousand five hundred gallons of water
Jumping into the water from the side of the boat,
there it was, ten feet from my body.
I stared directly into the cave of its gigantic mouth.
My entire body could be sucked into its gaping maw.
Thinking of Jonah, I pitched my body
in the opposite direction, swimming hard for escape.
Breathless, I paused to peer down the shark’s long length,
its body’s dazzling radiance.
The ineffable grace of its muscled movement,
colossal tail brushing from side to side.
Effortlessly, the shark glided into water’s seamless, silent expanse,
the stars on its back evaporating into fluid geography.
This isn’t a small life.
Some travel immeasurable distances
to find what feeds the soul.
For a few breathless moments
we feed our yearning, the stardust in our bodies
greeting an ancient light
glowing still, before disappearing
into the invisible.
I’m happy to announce Buoyant, my new book of poems about scuba diving and life inside the sea is now published by Bellowing Ark Press. If you’re not a diver, the poems in this volume will allow you to experience life underwater world while remaining dry. I hope the poems feed your soul.oe
(Let me know if you’d like a copy and I can tell you how to order one.)