I stare down into waterburn.
This urge to enter what we see.
Unrefracted tropical sun
with its whole arm
works deeply the ocean interior.
Water and light in union
make a third thing—color as fluid
Into the quarry of aquamarine,
high-walled with light, the mind high dives.
My fingers cleave watersilk.
I breathe heavy light.
The big cavitation of the props
gone by, my struggling stops, my slowed
descent, in diminishing light,
gains the country where the shark
is eagle, fish the fishermen, and men
no more than stones along the road.
John Barr, "from Articles of War, section V" from The Hundred Fathom Curve: New & Collected Poems. Copyright © 2011 by John Barr. Reprinted by permission of Red Hen Press.
Source: The Hundred Fathom Curve: New & Collected Poems
(Red Hen Press, 2011)