Monday, November 22, 2010


I inhabit a watery
like the man in the poem,
I am far too far out,
not waving, but drowning.

Drowning creates communication
problems; it’s difficult
for a bystander to know what to say.
She could venture a direct question:
“Why are you drowning?”
which might ellicit an equally
direct reply: “I’m out of my depth
and cannot swim.”
But the grammatical ambiguity
still remains: the present continuous,
“I am drowning” is never resolved into
the perfect tense “I have drowned”.
And an obscure answer might be better:
“With my crossbow, I shot the albatross”
or a metaphysical subtlety
“I am not drowning, life is drowning me”

Well, if you’re going to bring fate into it!
Fate never follows human timelines
No need to launch the lifeboat;
there’ll be no drowning today, tomorrow, not until the end of time.

Better just wave back and call out;
“have a happy day”.
If challenged later
to justify the crassness
of this remark
insist you’re not wanting to deprive me
of a moment or two’s happiness
before the final gulp.


  1. Oh yes: have a happy day, Diana! They are all so precious.

  2. it does feel like drowning some days...or a strange imprisonment being in a body that does not do what the mind asks it to...and of course we are all dying/transforming the moment we are born...everyone sick or healthy...this is the nature of being an embodied soul...but it is so much more magnified when one lives with ongoing illness. I'm so grateful to be able to stop by and read your poetry and are an inspiration.