A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned,
but we do be afraid of the sea,
and we do only be drowned now and again.
~John M. Synge

I, on the other hand,
am afraid of the sky.
It’s so far away, so full
of things I can’t comprehend:
storm clouds, stars, swift
falcons with pointed wings.
And it is possible to drown
up there, lungs filled
with cold unbreathable air.

L’ivresse des grandes profondeurs
Cousteau called the one,
the deadly calm,
ecstasy of danger.
But I fear the other above all things:
Rapture of the Height–
giddiness of falling,
arms spread wide,  the freedom
of a long descent to bedrock,
the aboriginal clay.


One comment on “RAPTURE OF THE DEEP

  1. erieffel says:

    A haunting kind of vertigo…makes me think of those grand Romantic paintings of skies. Also, perhaps you would enjoy checking out a series of poems about phobias — a Swarthmore poetry professor named Nathalie Anderson wrote a series of them in her collection “Following Fred Astaire.”

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