Descent

Into the ocean world.

close up photo of clownfish underwater

Mondays tend to offer numerous reminders of the need for an underwater excursion. With this in mind, today’s found poem is an assembly of phrases found in Jacques Cousteau’s introduction to The Ocean World, a stunning volume that featured prominently in my childhood imagination. 

The act of life,

an eye permanently open––

immense, teeming; plankton like haze,

barely visible, monotonous. Now what?

The diving years reveal a thin layer

of sea, fragile––at our mercy, somehow,

this organized crystal of three-dimensional 

nothingness: ocean intelligence buried

under waste. Consider the precariousness

of this third infinity, in the grabbing hands 

of someone unable to think beyond what he

might take: salvation, discovery, the next ride.

Even the next image, and yet, listen at

the edges: what third infinity continues

in constant chorus, inaudible to those

above, still held by laws of degradation

before the threshold of this ancient beyond?

Author: Stacey C. Johnson

I am here to wonder out loud. The point is not to get a clear answer, a complete picture, but to remember how incomplete the picture is, to embrace the process once again, of discovery, of questions, to notice the stirrings of wonder. To leave crumbs behind, for the next traveler.

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