TRAVEL POETRY

SNORKLING INTO DREAMTIME
Copyright 2013 Paul Belz
1.
Water constant as a rock
engulfs. My flippers and arms
scatter it and feel its rush,
supportive as a magnetic field.
It slips along each point,
liquid silk that crams my mouth with salt.
This parallel earth laughs as I kick,
stroke, fold, tumble.
I forget how to walk. So what?
This dream is warm, crystal sharp
and bright. There’s no sound; just this pounding hum
that clogs my ears. Below, a shadow flaps;
manta ray drifts above sheltering mud.
Fish poke and ignore me. My eyes fill
to overflowing with their colors:
ivory white, sulfur yellow, jade green,
ocean’s blue. I jolt awake.

2.
Hey fish! Do you chant to the dawn?
What do you think of flight?
The sky? Tell me of darkness and light.
How about rain? Unforgiving wind
that changes your sea to breakers?
What do you say about comets, stars,
meteors? Say how deafness feels,
and how you live with boundless water.
Share thoughts about ice, steam, snow and hail.

Hey primate!
Your sky’s a distant legend. Our madfish
search for it. What are stars? A word
with no object. All light begins
near the ocean’s ceiling, where the world ends.
It fades when it wants and returns just in time.
Warm liquid’s all we know. Ice is a good sound
meaning nothing. What’s rain? Wind?
Who told you we’re deaf? We sing together.
What’s wrong with your ears? Don’t bump us;
learn to swim!

3.
This world that built us all
from bits of shattered stars, where we’re called
to our lungless life, where speech breaks apart
and drifts away, this place where time
can’t travel in straight lines or curves,
rolls me in liquid arms. So I’m baffled!
Let me stay!

Isla Mujeres, Yucatan, Mexico
1/2011

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