Here are three poems about being underwater. How it looks and feels
being underwater. It just celebrates the fascinating thing called water.
By: Michael Schmidt
Underwater, this is the cathedral
sea. Diving, our bubbles rise
as prayers are said to do, and burst
into our natural atmosphere-
occupying, from this perspective,
the position of a heaven.
The ceiling is silver, and the air
deep green translucency. The worshippers
pray quietly, wave their fins.
You can see the color of their prayer
deep within their throats: scarlet, some,
and some fine-scaled vermilion; others
pass tight-lipped with moustaches
trailing and long paunches, though
they are almost wafer-thin seen sideways,
or unseen except for whiskers.
Further down, timorous sea spiders
slam their doors, shy fish disappear
into their tenement of holes, and eels
warn that they have serpent tails.
Deep is wild, with beasts one meets
usually dreams. Here the giant octopus
Drags in its arms. We meet it.
We are hungry in the upper air, and you
have the sea-spear that shoots deep;
you fire accurately, raising a conflagration
of black ink. The animal grabs stone
in slow motion, pulls far under a ledge
and piles the loose rock there as if
to hide might be enough. It holds tight,
builds sanctuary, and I think cries
“sanctuary!”-it dies at your second shot.
We come aboveboard then, with our eight-armed
dinner and no hunger left, pursued by the bland
eyes of fish who couldn’t care, by black
water and the death we made there.
Simile- The simile uses the word as to compare
in the sentence "Bubbles as prayers."
By: Robert Hayden
Sank through easeful
creatures flashed and
into canyon of cold
as in dreams of
plunged through infra-
space and came to
the dead ship,
carcass that swarmed with
lively blue and
yellow prised from
darkness by the
thronged her portholes.
Moss of bryozoans
blurred, obscured her
gold groupers explored her,
fearless of bubbling
manfish. I entered
the wreck, awed by her silence,
feeling more keenly
the iron cold.
With flashlight probing
fogs of water
saw the sad slow
dance of gilded
chairs, the ectoplasmic
swirl of garments,
drunken shoes. Then
eldritch hid and
seek of laughing
faces. I yearned to
find those hidden
ones, to fling aside
the mask and call to them,
yield to rapturous
done with self and
Yet in languid
frenzy strove, as
one freezing fights off
sleep desiring sleep;
strove against the
cancelling arms that
me, fled the numbing
kisses that I craved.
Reflex of life-wash?
belling? Swam from
the ship somehow;
somehow began the
The Swimming Lesson
By: Mary Oliver
Feeling the icy kick, the endless waves
Reaching around my life, I moved my arms
And coughed, and in the end saw land.
Somebody, I suppose,
Remembering the medieval maxim,
Had tossed me in,
Had wanted me to learn to swim,
Not knowing that non of us, who ever came back
From that long lonely fall and frenzied rising,
Ever learned anything at all
About swimming, but only
How to put off, one by one,
Dreams and pity, love and grace-
How to survive in any place.