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Sea Poetry

Discussion in 'Scuba Poetry' started by H2Andy, Aug 4, 2004.

  1. H2Andy

    H2Andy Blue Whale

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NE Florida
    inspired by a poem Mempilot posted in a different forum, i
    wonder how many of us have written poetry inspired by the
    sea and diving, and whether we'd like to share it.

    so, please, feel free to share your poems!

    i'll go first with a short one:



    Back in the dark sea,
    water tastes like blood,
    blood pulses like swell,
    and are one in the night. Life on land
    began like this: some creature
    peeked out of the sea, survived,
    found it could not live without
    what it had found. And us, we dive
    into the sea, are changed, never return
    as we first entered, like love, or life itself.
    Even in our homes, at night, breathing
    the moment away, in bed,
    we are in the sea, and never return.
    It is, after all, our blood.
    It is, in the end, our own beginning.
  2. Tiny Bubbles

    Tiny Bubbles Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Saint Clair Shores, Michigan
    There once was a diver from Tikrit
    He dove quarries of rocks and concrete
    He went in a tight spot
    Cold and wet's what he got
    'Cause he tore his drysuit in the seat
  3. GrierHPharmD

    GrierHPharmD Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Charlotte, NC
    Very nice...
  4. GrierHPharmD

    GrierHPharmD Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Charlotte, NC
    I decided to try my hand:

    Morning Dive, Hollywood Beach

    You wake up when the motor of the CD Player kicks in.
    Before the first note is played you click it off,
    Your movements efficient and precise in the predawn darkness.

    Pull on some trunks, a t-shirt, shorts,
    Step into the bathroom for a quick pass by the toothbrush
    And trip to the head,
    Then stumble down the stairs, oh so quietly so as not to wake
    The sleeping family.
    You start a pot of coffee and start packing.

    Scuba gear’s in the garage, in its Rubbermaid tub,
    Open the back gate of the jeep, wrestle the unwieldy tub into place.
    Grab the tanks, trying not to bang them too hard and wake up
    The neighbors, the family, the dogs.
    Quick once-over: mask, fins, snorkel, BC, reg, both tanks,
    Back to the garage for the flag and float and a towel
    Once back into the house for the coffee and a couple bottles of water,
    And the trip is on.

    It’s a short drive to the beach from here in the lightening gray.
    Out of the gate and take a right. Across two bridges.
    By the first, you can already see the American flag at
    North Beach Park, and it’s lying limp against the pole:
    A good omen – no wind, no waves this morning.
    The lake is mirror smooth, with just a few wind ripples
    A hundred yards or so from the road.

    You’re riding with the top open and the windows down,
    Feeling the mugginess of the salty air
    As it blows through your hair.
    Pull into the darkened lot,
    Into the slot with the broken meter.
    Roll up the windows, close the roof, lock the doors,
    Step out of the car and walk with your cup of coffee up the boardwalk,
    Through the trees, to the beach.

    You love the beach this time of morning.
    A few old farts walking along with metal detectors,
    A runner here and there, everybody isolated,
    In his, in her, own little reverie, not antisocial,
    Just content.

    The sky is starting to move through its light show,
    Pinks and oranges, blending well with the turquoise and aquamarine
    Of the ocean, blended at the boundary with grays and purples and blues.
    No surf to speak of, just the gentle lapping of water on sand.
    It’s a good day for diving.

    You walk back to the car, a little faster now.
    You open the back gate and start to move through your litany:
    Tank on the ground (use the steel 100 this time).
    Slide the BC (still damp from your last dive) over the neck,
    Then tighten the strap (just the right height, you know from many of these mornings).
    Next comes the reg. Screw the yoke into place, hook up the inflator, then
    Turn on the gas, with gauge pointed to the asphalt,
    Hoses stiffening as the unit comes alive. 3000 pounds, a full fill.
    Breathe through the primary and octopus. A few grains of sand in your teeth,
    The air tasting of latex, the emphasemic wheeze of the regulator a welcome friend.

    The rest is just details. Put the fins on top of the car,
    Inspecting the straps for wear, noting the sand streaks on the bottoms.
    The mask and snorkel. A few drops of defog and it joins the fins.
    Gloves on the trailer hitch. Booties on the feet,
    Cold and damp and sandy, quickly pulled into place.
    Weight belt – take a couple bags out and slide the buckle into place,
    Nice and low on your hips, you feel like Clint Eastwood in a spaghetti western,
    Ready to draw.

    Gloves on, Up and around and wrap, snap snap –
    You’re one with the scuba unit. You clip your flashlight to its ring.
    Tuck your octo into its holder. Pick up the flag, fins and mask
    And start the walk to the sea.

    The gear feels lighter as you walk, settling into place.
    You sink a bit on that first step into the sand.
    Then down to the edge of the water, and you trudge right in:
    No hesitation, no more delays.

    The water is cool on your feet and legs as you walk out,
    Eager to get to waist-deep so that you can let the gear float
    As you finish gearing up. Ten yards, then twenty, finally the water is at mid-chest.
    You clip your reel to its d-ring. A bit of air into the jacket.
    Swish the mask a bit, then drain. Mask on, reg in mouth,
    You bend to put fins on your feet, thinking that you need to lose
    A few pounds to make this bending thing easier.

    Then it’s a fifty-yard backstroke, mask on backward, flag trailing.
    Watching the water well up from your kicks,
    Watching the beachcombers walking,
    Watching the marine patrol boat puttering across the horizon
    Everything quiet and peaceful, the only sound that of the gulls,
    The trickle of the water, the beach tractor in the distance.

    You line up on that little brown house and the pier.
    Almost there. Look down and there’s just sand ripples.
    Look again, and it’s the dead top of the reef.
    You descend, pulling your mask around over your face,
    Venting air from your vest. A short stop on the bottom to re-adjust:
    Tighten the waist strap, the shoulder straps. Play out the flag line.
    Move your light to your waist belt and check it once more.

    The top of the reef is an empty place, a wasteland with only a few gorgonians
    And a single ocean triggerfish to welcome you.
    You take a compass reading to find due east, adjust the bezel of your watch to match
    You computer, then start gently kicking, enraptured by your own neutral buoyancy.

    And there it is! The coral falls away as you pass over the ledge.
    You’re in Grand Central – dozens of surgeonfish, hundreds of grunts.
    You swim along the ledge, shining your light into the dark places,
    Like a cop car patrolling with its searchlight at 2 am.
    Here a lobster, there a coral shrimp. And you boy, you stone crab!
    What are you doing hanging out here this time of day?

    From ledge to ledge, patch reef to patch reef, you move slowly,
    Silently, barely using your legs, hovering here and there just because
    It feels good to hover. Watching, listening. Away from phones and emails and cell phones. Away from medicine and politics and the news and movies and television
    Away from buying and selling and hype and commotion and confusion. No laptop here.
    No frequent flyer miles. No first class upgrades. No baggage checks or
    Emergency exit row seating requirements.

    Silence. A bustling paradise only twenty feet below that other world.
    As you come here more often, you begin to memorize the directions.
    You learn the names of your new friends. Stoplight parrot. Spotfin butterfly
    And did you see the saddled blennies?

    Eventually, your gauge shows that your time is almost done.
    Four hundred psi seems like a good time to start back. Just enough air left to get you through the swim back with a little reserve for emergencies.
    You take a bearing and start back over the reef.
    The sand starts, and you concentrate on the way your body streamlines
    As you look down at the sand ripples. You alter your rhythm just because
    It feels good to alter your rhythm. Your mind is empty of everything but this
    Peaceful, ecstatic feeling. Relaxed, easy swimming.

    You stop swimming when you console shows less than five feet of depth.
    You stand up, pull your mask off, blow your nose and look at shore.
    Take off your fins, inflate your vest, pull in your flag line.

    Walk back through the water to shore, stopping to talk a bit with a morning swimmer,
    One of the Old Ones on the beach,
    A retired diver who swims in the morning as exercise.
    He has bladder cancer and is dying.
    You smile at each other, and wish each other well,
    Both aware of the magic of this place
    Where you are, both aware of this thing so much larger than either of you.
    The look you share says so much more than words.
    So you stop talking, out of a sense of reverence.

    And walking back across the sand,
    You feel that you’ve spent the morning
    in the Hand of God…

    August 5, 2004
  5. Caryn

    Caryn Angel Fish

    Well, it was a little long, but well worth the time it took to read! Your vivid description of every sense: smell, sound, touch, taste, put the dive right in the palm of my hands. It felt like I was there diving myself! I enjoyed reading it very much, it made me anxious to get to my next dive. Thanks :)

    Consider yourself lucky to live in a place where you can do a shore dive in the morning. For those of us landlocked, we can only dream :)

    Happy diving!

  6. eponym

    eponym Master Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Oregon, USA
    Thanks for NIGHT DIVE, Mother Andy. And I've been looking for an excuse to say "Mark Strand rocks!"

    Here's a pair of Haiku spawned after a recent dark river dive:


    Air weakens, ashore.
    Mountains recede from my view,
    Dark rock fades to blue.

    Water weakens more.
    Depth robs color on descent,
    Only green unbent.
  7. BarunaDewa56

    BarunaDewa56 Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Australia
    Haiku seems to be the perfect medium of expression for a diver. Technically succinct and to the point on one level but at a deeper level it conveys so much more. Here's one that I penned while waiting for the bus to pick me up on the first day of my Open Water Course. It poured with rain all the previous night and was still raining while I waited:

    Rain - cancelled lesson?
    If we do go diving now
    We will all get wet

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