LiLi in water

From Coral Gardens




Catching a ride

On an incoming current,
Floating above corals
Of colors so subtle;
Peach, putty, purple,
Cushiony round.
Intricate habitats
Of spikey ivory,
Housing black/white stripey fish,
Ardent defenders of their castles,
All pass beneath me,
I am blown by the beauty!
Clumps of inky anemones
Guard entrances to shaded enclaves
Where larger fish lurk,
Lattices of light bounce
Up from the pale coral floor,
Blessing, enchanting me......


And the following day, from a different reef....



Desperate handholds
On knobby corals
Ripped from my grasp!
I'm surging backward, 
Out of control!
Arms flailing,
Reef-shod feet useless,
I'm being sucked out
Beyond the break!
I watch the bottom drop
Below me, speeding out
Through the arms of reef
Into the wave-swept ocean.
Fish darting beneath me,
10 feet, 15, 30!
Breathing - heavy, edging to panic;
Shouting for help! Waving!
People walking on the beach,
People in the lagoon,
Not hearing me, not seeing me!
Imagining the current carrying me
Out to sea in the fast-coming night,
Imagining big fish out here,
It's shark feeding time!
Here's fear - breathe!
O! God! Help me!
O! God! Help me Now!

Big wave coming!
Picking me up,
Hurtling towards shore,
Flowing me on
To the rounded reef...
Grabbing, latching on
For dear life!
Pulled back again,
Mouthpiece torn away,
Swallowing water, gasping!
Now, surging to safety again....
It's Over! I'm safe!
And so thankful!
Maruru! Maruru!


LiLi Townsend
March 2000

Note from LiLi:
Riptide captures a moment of profound Letting Go! 
And a moment of restoration of Trust in my Creator!
Sometimes these tests propel us to the next level of 
Knowing Our Connectedness beyond question.

The original version of this poem was written in the 
first shocked moments after my return to land.....
Bloody fingerprints mark the page!