Beneath the waves

This poem is an escapist fantasy inspired in part by Homer’s under the sea song (Simpson, not the Greek dude). It also came out of the absolutely batshit crazy Blue Planet episode about the very deepest depths.

As ever, you can hear me reading the blighter here:


Please do have a listen because this is definitely a performance piece which loses a little bit on the page.


Beneath the waves

in the deepest part of the ocean
life goes on as before
systematic, like a power grid
snorkelling heads of state
are frightened by the distance
between them and the bottom
and me, why I just sit here
and watch corpses pick themselves clean

the pressure of the water
is weighted in our favour
a polystyrene cup
becomes a perfectly functional thimble
a living, breathing human being
becomes a bow-legged homunculus
compressed grey matter
decides to become a walnut

babe, there’s no way for me to talk to you down here
I’ve noticed that vowels and consonants
make different shaped bubbles
but if you were to ever drift down here
with your submersible logic
I’d attach myself to you like a barnacle
no, fuck it, like a limpet-mine
and the implosion will obliterate you

your synapses will be
vast swathes of kelp
there will be found one day
an iceberg which breathes
plankton with human DNA
a squid changing to your favourite colour
a whale humming a song
your mummy taught you

nothing much from the surface world
can bother me here, and I’m glad
the sun’s relentless processing
does not stretch this deep
my avoidance of its deathly rays
has starched my skin
there’s an absence in these depths
and I’m the ghost who swims

 

 

 

 

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