It’s undeniable, there is clearly something poetic about scuba diving. When a diver finds themselves submerged in a weightless, silent world, completely intertwined in the natural beauty that surrounds them, it brings a feeling of tranquility that is hard to find in modern times.
Often, the reality that we know, is a rushed display of buzzing gadgets and beeping screens; and taking a moment to sit back (or hover back, I should say in scuba terms), and creature watch is a rare treat. I love observing animal behaviors down on the reef, as well as the quirks that make these under sea dwellers unique. It’s a pleasure watching the soap opera unfold; such as angel or butterflyfish spiraling around, participating in mating rituals, or seeing hundreds of shimmering fusiliers swimming in schools above me, or catching a peacock mantis shrimp scurrying by, as it looks out at the world with it’s incredible eye sight.
Between wars, plagues, famine, and droughts, human beings of the past found time for observing the natural world. And it’s in our genes to reflect this in various art forms, such as painting, music, and poetry. Most of us are quite familiar with the light hearted rhyming pome, the limerick.
Parrotfish chomp on the reef
Using their beaks, not teeth
They poo out the sand
Now isn’t that grand?
It makes beaches, what a relief!
I’m going to swim a bit out of the box here, and take a crack (which I’m sure will be humorous), at an often forgotten and somewhat strange poetry form, the haiku. Haiku poetry originated in Japan around 700 CE, and is characterized by short, 17 syllable, three line poems; which are in the form of 5 syllable, 7 syllable, and 5 syllable. The topic was traditionally animals and nature. So here we go…
Peacock mantis shrimp
Sixteen color receptors
Perceives vast beauty
Shimmer silver, yellow, blue
True, strength in numbers
Eight armed octopus
Three hearts – each gill and body
Fish with courtship rituals
Egg spawning partners
Green, turquoise male – grey female
Reef’s huge, friendly fish
Plankton filter feed
Hello graceful manta ray
Soaring black and white
This is my first attempt at scuba haikus, so thank you for bearing with me. If you’re feeling poetic and would like to share with us, please feel free. The poets of the past would be happy to know others are stopping, and taking a moment to appreciate this fantastic planet we live on.