#NationalPoetryDay – Pressure



It’s National Poetry Day. I scoured my files for something I’d written recently that probably wouldn’t find an airing anywhere else, and decided on this. A sad poem, written on hearing of a friend of someone I teach who’d been paralysed while diving in the sea in Portugal. I’ll not say more than that.


Somewhere beneath
this foaming disorder
a poem waits.
Somewhere in
the stillness
of the bent deep
quiet words
cling like clams
ready to be prized…

Somewhere, not here,
where some ungraphable
surface is all our vision.
The occlusion and confusion,
the rising and falling,
chopping and faltering
splinters of salted water,
capsize our best knowledge:
down there
among the silent, ignorant depths
was freedom;
up here, in the stinging light
of tears and gasping for air
for a fucked up young life
is lung-destroying pressure.

What lies beneath,
or above?
Only oceans
of atmosphere.
and saline.
And in between,
at their mercy,
diving for words,
raising hands for questions
for which there will be
no reply,
no poems,
no release.

© KB 2009