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  • Walter Weinschenk




I tumbled through

A school of fish,

A swirling horde,

A silver coil

That danced

Around me

Like a circle of light

While, below,

Green lobsters

Trudged along,

Wary and deliberate;

Storms of seaweed

Fell like snow

And gathered in piles;

I saw, as well,

The bones of fish

And the bones of men;

They roll like tumbleweed

Across the floor;

I mourned the loss

Of those nameless souls.


The sun is weak:

Its blinding light

Succumbs to the water,

Gleams meekly

Through shadows

That pervade the ocean’s

Rooms and corridors

But, even so,

I now can see

As never before:

I see the flicker

Of distant fins

And grains of sand

In every inch

Of the seabed’s

Grand mosaic;

I see sharp corners

And subtle bends

Hidden in a shadow’s edge

And I see colors

That can’t be seen

In the atmosphere;

I have found clarity

In the darkness of the sea.

The weight of water

Is soft against my skin:

The cool of it

Reaches my core,

Runs throughout

The essence of all I am,

An essence I never knew

And could never know

Living life on land.

I hear the song

Of bells in the distance,

A strained echo

Reverberates in long,

Deformed tone,

Chimes from beyond the reef:

It could be the music

Of an ancient buoy,

Long ago abandoned

Or, perhaps, the song

Of currents as they cross:

Sober tone,

Holy melody,

A lonely reminder

Of something lost;

The crabs and eels

And angelfish

Listen and live

In keeping

With its rhythm

As I drift, spellbound,

Toward the sound

Of that lament.


Walter Weinschenk is an attorney, writer and musician. Until a few years ago, he wrote short stories exclusively but now divides his time equally between poetry and prose. Walter's writing has appeared in a number of literary publications including the Carolina Quarterly, Lunch Ticket, Cathexis Northwest Press, Beyond Words and others. His work is due to appear in forthcoming issues of the Iris Literary Journal, The Banyan Review and Sand Hills Literary Magazine. Walter lives in a suburb just outside Washington, D. C

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