ABOVE AND BELOW THE SURFACE

Written by: Sidney Beck

ABOVE  AND  BELOW  THE  SURFACE



Our life unfolds in the  sunfilled air where  we are kings
But leave this kingdom at your peril, 
For below the surface are watery things.

In our royal air, raindrops fall down.  In the upside-down liquid world - confusion:
Air bubbles in  water  fall up  -  the ocean’s  own  airdrops. 
Two  visitor spheres,  each hurrying home, for life through the surface is an illusion.

A  distorted  image of illusory shimmering  through  eyes  with lenses blurred,  
The Pearl of the World is a cauterized oyster-infection.
Divers plunge below, uncertain of reality: no sound senses  -  no word is heard.  

Above,  our mastery of life in royal air is an illusion - of power.
Below we must move from a king’s realm to a serf’s realm.
We must move down the scale from predator to prey - and cower.

Once below, we must mark the ways of beings which outwit  our checks.   
Turtles and whales talk easily over our mute submarine  tele-cables
Sprawled snake-like  among the dark silent hulls, useless wrecks  -

Those temporary  temples to the royal air-gods of  technologism,
In an unforgiving world where  water-power demands fealty:   
Flotability   is  a  permanent  state of  hydro-atheism.  

Airless   sunless   life,  groping gradually to the glassy surface, shaken  
Or even known, only by instinct, but never  breached:
‘Whose worth's unknown, although his height  be taken.’        *

………………………………………………………….

*From   Shakespeare’s   Sonnet  116