Nothing Will keep me aFloat (audio poem)

Nothing Will keep me aFloat – poem with audio


A danger sign missed. Inner wisdom dismissed.
Into a flowing stream with more than my toes, I willingly stepped.
Floating down a winding brook, following a carefully chartered course,
turning a corner, I was dumped into the deep, where other rivers merged.
A leisurely scene suddenly transformed into a plunging force.

Treading and splashing in a fast-flowing and unsettled sea,
trying to relax, hold my head up, and most importantly – to breathe.
Surrounded and distracted by rushing and crescendoing waves.
Caught in a rip current that is gaining strength.
If I try to match its pace,
it will quickly envelope, before it slowly suffocates.

With agitated seas and whipping winds swirling around,
I must protect my energy and let go of that which weighs me down.
With some unease, I do release, while noticing others grab for
more than they need, more than they can hold –
adding to their overburdened labor
and blurring the calm shore.

  Clinging to shallow thoughts and objects, short-lived,
rushes delivery to the darkest depths.
Deep reflections and a life preserver, securely fit,
offer buoyancy and freedom to rest.
A shifting ground can slip through fingers, but it is needed to step
from the sea’s turbulence, uncertainty, and stress.

With tired limbs and salty eyes, just above a wave’s foamy crest,
I watch as a mysterious artist creates an everchanging portrait,
painting and erasing the sun’s rise and descent.
When the hurler of heat vanishes from view,
I see nothing holding the stars in place or cradling the moon.
Deep-sea treading and head-above-water pondering lead me to conclude …
if heavenly bodies can thrive in nothing, then I can too.

Waves will crash and the sea will thrash,
but these surging white caps will not last.
In that knowing, I can relax; my body and spirit are learning to adapt.
In this moment there is nothing I need, nothing beyond my reach,
nothing causing me to overextend outstretched limbs,
and it is nothing that will keep me afloat in this deep and unpredictable sea.


If you are swimming in an unsettled sea, I hope calm waters arrive with your next sunrise. 🌅 💗 Michele

Photo 1: Reflecting and admiring the reflections (haha) at Tempe Town Lake (thanks for capturing the moment, LP) Photo 2: San Diego coast (taken a few years ago)

Copyright © 2020 Michele Lee Sefton. All Rights Reserved.

48 thoughts on “Nothing Will keep me aFloat (audio poem)

    1. Thank you, Ingrid. 😄 I was thinking the same thing when I read your poem. 💭 Wonderful. I wish I was actually by the sea, but lake viewing was lovely too. 🥰 Sometimes we need to swim or tread, but calm waters and sunshine are always there for us, and sometimes it is the calm before the storm, but that is another poem, or reverse thoughts of this one. 😆

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I hope you are able to make it too. Hopefully calmer (global) waters for our 2021. Eventually. 😔 There is nothing like staring out across the expansive sea. 💗 Have a wonderful weekend full of holiday cheer.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the lake reflection photo too. I have my friend to thank for that one. 📸😍 Thank you for visiting and viewing. 🙏🏼 My San Diego beach photo reminded me that it has been too long since I visited that region of the Pacific Coast.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Writing that poem did feel like being on a watery quest, so true. I suppose most of my poems provide that experience for me. I rarely know where they will take me, following a thought. I love that about writing poetry – allowing, searching, exploring, and discovering. 💗 Thank you, Nico. Enjoy your weekend. 🌅

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You have a lovely voice.

    This poem made me think a lot!

    When the hurler of heat vanishes from view,
    I see nothing holding the stars in place or cradling the moon.

    There’s a deep truth here, I think.

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom, Michele!

    -David

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You haven’t heard me sing. 😆 I do love to sing and read aloud, but I will stick with just reading my poems. 📖 Deep thoughts. Deep ocean. Deep universe. So much to think about! This poem did that for me too. Thank you for listening, David, and for sharing your thoughts. I will keep sharing too, and maybe grow wiser along the way. 🌞

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lorraine

        Thank you for the moving poem, Michele.
        I can identify with being caught in a few rip-currents this year, but I found help in the form of a wise therapist, a journal, and art. Now I am letting go of what doesn’t support me and embracing 2021!

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Your kindness and encouragement warm my heart. 🥰 I am glad the audio frustrations I was having prior to recording did not come through in my recitation. Or maybe they did – maybe they helped me describe “agitated seas.” 😆

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sometimes I do carry my emotions … on my sleeve. haha I do enjoy hearing the sounds of the words that form poems, whether spoken by me or others, and I love how a change in inflection, emphasis, or pause can influence how a word or line is interpreted. I do prefer to remain quiet for some poems, and let readers interpret how they choose. Thank you for noticing. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My, my, Michele, your poem is stunning. What an insightful piece on remembering, for me, that this too shall pass. I absolutely love the language you’ve created, and the vividness of the imagery I receive in this poem. Thank you for sharing your lovely creation. Have a lovely holiday.❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jeff, thank you for the heartfelt compliment. 🥰 That poem that began with a thought that led to the first line, pulled me into the water and the rest of the poem flowed through me, while I swam with the words. I am so delighted that you experienced the words with me, and yes, knowing “this too shall pass” is a helpful uplifting message for all of us. Especially this year! Be well and enjoy the season. ⭐

      Liked by 2 people

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