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Discovery of the Shadow

Discovery of the Shadow

A Poem by Fae
"

I am fascinated with the deep ocean and I wrote this poem about deep sea fish discovering the concept of the shadow for the first time.

"

Light does not dare venture this far,

and yet there is colour - the abyssal

palette; midnight blues, brilliant reds and

silvery grays bejewel the barren marine face

of mother Earth herself. Pores of

sulphur burst from the floor and crustaceans                        

cluster about, clutching at minerals

ground from the Earth’s raw core; fiery,

poisonous, only fit for these creatures,

the last reaches of life, who are almost sludge,

but not quite, who live for eons but never know

how quickly time at the surface can go.

 

Inches away from the sun, it seems,

reef-dwellers revel in flamboyant tomfoolery;

with shapes and patterns of impracticality,

they are aesthetically pleasing, indeed, but

each species lives individually, removed

from the realities more courageous fish face;

swimming solo for days and starving for weeks,

until an appropriate deep water feast

drifts down from shallower seas.

 

For them, seeing brightness is revelatory.

Struck by a bolt of Zeus’ own lightning

and caught with eyes open - blinding.

Things never before concerns

suddenly rear their head and burn to receive answers;

most curious among them, the flat, long

silhouette of the crab on spindly legs,

mirroring its movements, attached all the

time to where exoskeleton meets ground,

only found with the help of a flashlight.  

Having no name for the sensation, there is

not fear, but wonderment, that this beam

would cut through gloom, only to be stopped

by the animal’s slim frame, to be blocked

from total illumination. And this… ‘shadow’

follows wherever it goes, a permanent

friend among endless marine snow.

 

Does the anglerfish ever turn on her light

simply to marvel at the bead of brightness?

To cast it before her and project

shadows on the walls? Does her guard ever fall;

missing a fish swim in to her maw because

she is watching not it, but its ghoul,

the negative space in her light pool?

 

Jagged, oily backs of fishes and the tentacles

of octopi, are only distinguished from

endless black by a neon blue or greenish hue;

smouldering liquid fire, effervescent pearls

of colour, whirling about in swell.

Light, up to this point,

has been a camouflage or lure,

a burning of curiosity where waters

rest so coolly, but now it is an art display.

Vampyroteuthis waves macabre arms

in delicate ballet, and gelatinous bodies

illuminate in a natural x-ray.

 

If sunlight was not meant to penetrate

these depths, to reveal the angles on the

face of fishes sifting through the waste,

why construct them so ornately?

Why inject colour in to their hides and scales?

Perhaps it is a comfort to these fish to believe

that what impales them in final moments

is not a predatory being, is simply the clutches of darkness,

or perhaps flecks of light, beckoning them

into a further endless night.

 

© 2015 Fae


Author's Note

Fae
Any feedback on this poem would be much appreciated. I'd especially like feedback on its readability. The deep ocean is smooth, but extremely intricate, and I tried to express that feeling in the language used in the poem, but I fear some lines are too long and don't sit well on the tongue... I think it still needs some reworking... Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it!

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Featured Review

I really liked it, your language was beautiful and descriptive and I had no trouble reading it. I especially loved the line "Does the anglerfish ever turn on her light, simply to marvel at the bead of brightness?" it felt pretty and I could totally picture the anglerfish miles and miles under the waves.

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Fae

6 Years Ago

Thank you so much for this feedback and I'm glad you liked the poem!



Reviews

I really liked it, your language was beautiful and descriptive and I had no trouble reading it. I especially loved the line "Does the anglerfish ever turn on her light, simply to marvel at the bead of brightness?" it felt pretty and I could totally picture the anglerfish miles and miles under the waves.

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Fae

6 Years Ago

Thank you so much for this feedback and I'm glad you liked the poem!

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1 Review
Added on June 1, 2015
Last Updated on June 1, 2015
Tags: poetry, deep sea, ocean, science

Author

Fae
Fae

Bermuda



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