Those don’t exist. Under
Every lily pad on the surface,
The long stem of the rest of the story
Is being told in a wavering green light.
And below that where the surface
Is a glimmer of bright above,
The real story pushes up out of the muck,
Sends tendrils up,
Seeking that far light.
Compose the frame
For what you love.
NaPoWriMo, or National Poetry Writing Month 2020 was back in April, but someone on social said that month barely existed for us and resurrected National Write a Poem a Day for October 2020, which suits my mood just fine. I’m not doing a poem a day (I make photographs every day), but I’m definitely focusing on it more to get my chops back, if I can.
In the case of this little poem, I thought to combine photos, voice, and words to make a little videoito. I might have preferred getting out my GoPro to capture underwater footage, going down, down, down a lily stem through that green glass world, but it’s getting cold now and I hate getting my toes all yucky in the muddy biome of the pond bottom. I think of that line from Sidney Lanier’s “The Marvelous Marshes of Glynn”:
And I would I could know what swimmeth below when the tide comes in ...
And maybe a final word about the idea that there are no shallow stories. The river of media flows by us all at a tremendous rate, and among the garbage and the flowers are voices decrying it all, the deepfake of the world. It isn’t that there aren’t important critiques to be made, but first I must find a place of quietude to stand and then to focus. You know that Biblical quote, “As for me and my house, we will serve…I will serve… that deeper story.” Down the lily stem I go.