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Diving (poem of empowerment)

I am not an especially strong
swimmer, but even so,
the ocean calls to me.

When I visit my cousin
in far north Queensland,
I always savour the reefs.

Ridiculous though I may be,
I enjoy the rubbery goodness
of a wetsuit and flippers.

Preposterous really,
how large my feet are,
how inelegantly I wobble.

The ladder from a boat
is intriguing, it lies

Until you need to
step from its rungs,
dive deep.

Deeper, deeper.
Oxygen mask

Moving from the blue blue
To the green aquamarine
To black flashes.

and yet

In the ocean
I do not fear sharks,
But myself.

I might explore
a shipwreck,
hidden treasure.

Or find the emptiness
of myself, wishing
I was a mermaid.

This is the place.
Water soothes me,
inflates my soul.

For though I am
largely earth-mother,
I want to explore.

The fish, the coral,
immerse myself
in the wreck.

I am complete.
There are no words.
Drowned eyes wide open.

I breathe differently,

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Diving (poem of empowerment) by 

For Pink Panther: this poem is about diving on one level, but about immersion of self on another. I find that many women find water empowering – and this is definitely the case for me.

I last visited far north Queensland in 2009, but thinking on a bright sunny Melbourne day of another time and place. Oh, how the Great Barrier Reef still thrills me from afar!


diving, empowerment, great, barrier, reef, queensland, water, healing

I’ll defer to Anna Quindlen, of The New York Times: “People who are knowledgeable about poetry sometimes discuss it in that knowing, rather hateful way in which oenophiles talk about wine: robust, delicate, muscular. This has nothing to do with how most of us experience it, the heart coming around the corner and unexpectedly running into the mind. Of all the words that have stuck to the ribs of my soul, poetry has been the most filling.”

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  • Teacup
    Teacupover 3 years ago

    Sounds empowering indeed… lovely msdebbie…x

  • Thanks Alison xoxo

    – msdebbie

  • Lisa  Jewell
    Lisa Jewellover 3 years ago

    Oh wow Deb,
    you’ve really captured the feeling of immersion and water….Love this xxx

  • Thanks so much my dear friend xoxo

    – msdebbie

  • lisameryl
    lisamerylover 3 years ago

    Debbie, this is STUNNING! FABULOUS word flow, energy, imagery and beauty! Peace and love be with you always, Lisa =) XO

  • Thanks so much Lisa, water is a flowing medium so perhaps that created the ripples of recognition!

    – msdebbie

  • Initially NO
    Initially NOover 3 years ago

    I’d like to hear you read this one.

  • Cool, thanks for saying so NO. I’ll try it on for size hopefully next time we are at the same poetry reading!

    – msdebbie

  • TextureoftheSin
    TextureoftheSinalmost 3 years ago

    There is nothing more relaxing and soothing then giving yourself over to the beat of the ocean’s heart :)

  • Yup, I agree TOTS xxx

    – msdebbie

  • PJ Ryan
    PJ Ryanover 2 years ago

    beautiful write deb :) x

  • Thanks so much PJ xxx

    – msdebbie

  • byzantinehalo
    byzantinehaloabout 2 years ago

    For a person who can’t imagine being under the water at the mercy of diving gear for breathing, this is an awesome write. I felt it with awe and trepidation. Well done with the imagery. :))

  • What a lovely comment byzantinehalo. I know what you mean – even with the thrill, there is a sense of awe and trepidation that I carry into the water. Part of the joy is to acknowledge the power of nature xxx

    – msdebbie

  • SimplyRed
    SimplyRedabout 2 years ago


  • Jenifer DeBellis
    Jenifer DeBellisabout 2 years ago

    Click on the banner to go straight to the permanent feature gallery.

    Anna, Sybille and Jenifer xox

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