Sunday, May 11, 2014

Into the Ocean



author’s note:

This life...it's always a work-in-progress.


INTO THE OCEAN

I've never been able to forget
how afraid I was of the water
as a child--

that feeling has followed me
all through my life--

a sense of weakness

that became especially poignant
one morning as I gazed in wonder
at the magnificent gray-green waters
shifting up and down
in myriad waves...

Finally,
my sadness overwhelmed me
and I retreated to a cave
beneath the sea cliff.

There, in darkness
I shivered and gasped
through a long agitated sleep

returning again and again
in twilight dreams to that beach
where the impersonal presence
of the bay watched me

and waited...patiently.

Fortunately, in dreams
--as in waking life--
we humans have a way
of fooling ourselves

and so, after much fear
and frustration
I finally decided to take
one step forward
as the tide began
to slide back.

As a result,
when the massive wave
suddenly struck
I was carried up
and away

--!--

but no, I didn't fight--
I accepted the great threat
with trembling courage:

having lived with so much terror
for so long
I'd learned to cope--
I could control myself:

I lay back--I spread myself wide
in submission and whispered:
“Though I can not kill my fear
  I will no longer allow this fear
  to kill me.”

Yes, I still felt a lack
but when confronting such force
we are indeed powerless
unless we can lay back.

At that point
I needed no more dreaming
and finally awoke fully

then moved out
   and out
into the wide waters--

into an ocean deepening down.


© 2014, Michael R. Patton
new steps

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