We linger Around the shallow edges And rippling surfaces Of an underwater world Seen dimly Through a liquid lens That fractures light And disturbs Our searching gaze. In its depths We sense unseen creatures Hiding In fields of waving weed, Lingering Between hard rocks, Hiding In coral caves; Yet – We only see whales When one rises suddenly To the surface Of its watery home Dwarfing Our puny vessel, When another’s dead body Finds its unintended And pungent grave Upon our shores. We think the dolphin leaps For our amusement And are surprised hearing Its short, hard breaths As it hunts, All grace and power. We see a fin And fear The shark’s approach, Dread its cold eye and Multitude of sharp teeth. But mostly We are blind To this watery world That fills our planet, Not knowing All that lives in it And that we live upon; Too careless in our taking From it, Too easy in disposing of The detritus of our lives Into it, As if out of sight Below the waves Were indeed Gone.
Written by Margaret Mair Painting, original art by Margaret Mair