The Drowning

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She is alone in a sea of misery

Fog has come to wrap its damp and gnarled

Fingers around her flailing arms

She cannot swim the murky waters,

But she tries to float


She can see the blessed, sun-filled shore from here

People laughing, children playing-- all completely unaware

Of the woman trying only to survive

As she navigates through the heavy waters all alone

Wondering when it will all come to an end


But, alas, a savior has finally arrived

To pull her from this state of isolation

Oh, the ecstatic joy on both of their faces;

It feels good to both save and to be saved in return

Yet, the shore is still so very far away


Therefore, the relief is only a temporary reprieve

And it is not long before total panic ensues

Grabbing hold of the savior, this link to the shore and others on it,

She desperately clings and fights to hold on tight

Until the savior too is losing the fight


Left with no other choice but to let go,

The savior goes back from whence she came

Leaving the woman alone once more

To struggle to reach the ever-longed for shore

Only, her strength is waning, and she is feeling all so weary now


Should she keep trying to stay afloat

Or gently sink to the bottom to find some peace at last?


© 2013 Shannon

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Comments 58 comments

CurrentScience303 3 years ago from HighPoint, N.C.

I've just sent this person http://hubpages.com/literature/A-narrative-poem-Re... the following "Open Letter":

I am familiar with how the archetypical 'Christian' tends to deal with issues that are "out of their comfort zone". I realize that my questioning of your 'Religious Beliefs' were viewed in a derogatory light. I had mentioned in a previous hub of yours, about astigmatism in relation to Eye Surgery. Days after I questioned your Religious Beliefs {which seemed to "shake" your very foundation}: you posted this hub about a man who "can't see a beautiful day", coupled with the idea of he needs to use the right words (i.e. "be more conniving"). So, I ask you {I realize how difficult this is for someone such as yourself ?}, to Not be a Coward??! & Post this comment. In turn, in an adult manner {more than PBS children's level conjecture}, respond to me, as opposed to your Propaganda. /// Also, the post of mine that you've taken down: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=sweden+atheist... was meant to reflect the Culture of the Most Progressive Nations in the modern 1st world (who just so happen to be Atheist). Such as Sweden: of the Highest Standard of Living {with some of the greater Incentives for the benefit of humanity (i.e. the Novel Prizes)}, Lowest Crime Rates, No major Drug/Alcohol issues. I am asking you: Ruby, I know it's asking far too much of someone with your fragile temperament: but, if you are afraid of facing "questioning the viability of your timely religious affirmations", and accept to (on an adult level), No Pass So Quick Judgement on different lifestyles (where people live their lives, perhaps more elated that you). Are you only content with what's "right" through your Biased Eyes?? - I await a response... ;0)


CurrentScience303 3 years ago from HighPoint, N.C.

Also, the 'Christian' Archetype i refer to the comment above, has numerous people from INDIA who have left comments on her hub, So: I posted the following: /// btw: here's some "relation" to your several friends from INDIA {as Swede musician Jonas Hellborg has partaken in collaboration numerous times with Selvaganesh, U. Shrinivas (of the highest-ranking traditional Drummers from India)

http://youtu.be/xMDbz1SWez8

again, every Christian I've ever tried to have an "adult-level" conversation with: There is No Progression {leave it to the Most Progressive Countries such as Australia, Canada, Ireland, the nations of Scandinavia}, // I don't want you, as a Christian to fail, it's just Inevitable: your Non-Progressive Temperament. ..


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

I might change my mind and deny those comments, CurrentScience. Reason being, what does any of that have to do with my poem? Especially since this was in no way religious, not for me anyway. Though, I have written some that refer to my faith in God, this one in particular was not in reference to a religious savior.


CurrentScience303 3 years ago from HighPoint, N.C.

O.K., now problem {I understand}, I would delete them now, I just don't see the option "button" to do so with. - Thanks for your honesty!


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

It's okay. I was just thinking about it, and if you saw something religious in it, chances are others might as well. Maybe it is a good thing to have written something so open to interpretation.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

This is a thought provoking poem, always stay afloat, there is always hope for a rescue. Thank you for sharing...


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. :) Though, I would be interested to know what kind of thoughts it provokes in you?


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

It made me think of acute depression and wanting to die to releave her misery, yet she still felt some hope that she would be rescued. She desperately needed someone to care whether she lived or died.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you, always exploring. That is actually what I was thinking of when I wrote it. I was thinking about how someone that can't swim clings to someone else trying to save them until the other person gets pushed under too. It is why lifeguards are trained the way they are-- to avoid that. Anyway, the thought came to me about how a sadness and ruined relationships can be like that so I tried to elaborate on the metaphor, and hopefully capture the emotion behind it.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

CurrentScience, how is having compassion for someone, as in the story in alway exploring's poem you linked to above, non progressive? What if more people actually showed that kind of love to others instead of rejecting people that did not live a life like theirs? Maybe the world would have a different kind of progression rather than a self centered, everyone for themselves kind of life. How is casting someone away any less biased than believing it is right to have compassion for them? Also, I might point out that many Christians have already considered the other possibilities and the "big questions" that can challenge faith in God. Perhaps there really are some things in life that just cannot be explained in any other manner... .unless you want to go with ESP or something like that, which would speak of the supernatural as well...So, my point...supernatural spirit, as in Christ or the Holy Spirit....or plain supernatural....neither one is scientific.


CurrentScience303 3 years ago from HighPoint, N.C.

First off, Positive World-Altering Sentiments can be Much Greater than the Tinier Gestures: http://www.prosebeforehos.com/wordpress/wp-content... then again, that were male(wide-scale thought)/female(nurturing disposition) brains tend to alter //// --- " Also, I might point out that many Christians have already considered the other possibilities and the "big questions" that can challenge faith in God." - That sentiment is encouraging to know, especially since most Christians whom I've questioned about their faith have told me to "not think too much about it". /// "how is having compassion for someone, as in the story in alway exploring's poem you linked to above, non progressive?" - I was referring to the person with the pen-name: 'always exploring': her usage of Propaganda, directly relating to "poor eyesight", & the man's non-usage of "conniving words" to get people to feel empathy for him. That hub/blog was put up directly after I responded to her hub about 'corrective eye surgery' & I also questioned her faith (in non derogatory terms). However, her usage of the aforementioned Propaganda, summed me to issue back Propaganda in the form of Letting Others Know of that Example of Christian-Trickery, & also my Displaying of the "Jesus Coward" artwork (to summon "affect emotion" from her, as she tried to from me). //// "What if more people actually showed that kind of love to others instead of rejecting people that did not live a life like theirs?" - I believe in love and compassion {being essential to optimum health}. However: there are (on a world-wide level) reasons for natural population control (whether it be wars from religious conflict, bacterial mutation (viruses), etc.): this has to do with the Preservation of the Earth's Natural Biosphere/Environment. Too many persons on planet Earth, equates to irreversible environmental damage. For example: to produce enough food to eat everyday, for the existing (current) populous of people on Earth bring about irreversible environmental decay:

As human numbers continue to swell, at more than 9,000 an hour, 80 million a year, a rate that threatens a doubling in less than 50 years. Land for cultivation is dwindling. Wind and rain erode fertile soils. Water supplies are increasingly precarious. Once-fertile regions are threatened with sterility. The yield from the oceans has begun to fall. To make matters potentially worse, human numbers threaten the survival of other species of plant and animal. Humans depend not just on what they can extract from the soil, but what they can grow in it, and this yield is driven by an intricate ecological network of organisms. Even at the most conservative estimate, other species are being extinguished at 100 to 1,000 times the background rate observable in the fossil record.”

The notion that population growth is the foremost cause of environmental degradation and societal destabilization is raised in the Summer 2009 issue of Scientific American’s publication, Earth 3.0—Solutions for Sustainable Progress. --- btw, I'm open for further discussions/debate.... -OR- Propaganda!! {what so-ever climate anyone wishes to partake !}


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 3 years ago from North Carolina

I love this poem. I think many of us can relate to this. I think if you are a Chrisitan, the thought of floating to the bottom isn't such a bad idea. Excellent!


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks, Tammy! I didn't quite look at it like that, but I like that perspective!


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

Very good, and a place we may all be in more than once in life when things go wrong. A choice some make a bad decision on. I like it. ^


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 3 years ago from Brownsville,TX

Oh MY THIS IS WONDERFUL... I applaud you my new friend.. I am so glad I got to read this.. how many times have we been sinking and sinking and we grab for help thinking that help is there and then we find ourselves sinking again.. beautifully done

I am sharing this masterpiece on my poetry sites on Facebook

I am Deborah brooks Langford if we are not friends

blessings to you and your wonderful poetry

Debbie

https://www.facebook.com/deborah.b.langford1?ref=t...


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you! I am honored that you would share it on other sites! I'm always happy to make new friends!


MrsBrownsParlour profile image

MrsBrownsParlour 3 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

I relate to this poem and thought the metaphor of drowning was very powerful...and "deep" (couldn't resist! but I mean it). You conveyed the emotions very well.

~Lurana @MrsBrownsParlour


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Hahaha! For such a serious poem, thanks for the laugh with the pun. :) I hoped I could convey the emotions well enough because I think so many people feel that way or have felt that way at some point in their lives.


shiningirisheyes profile image

shiningirisheyes 3 years ago from Upstate, New York

Excellent poetry style. So impactful and uniquely relateable to everyone.

Happy to be following.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you, shingingirisheyes! And thanks for the follow as well. Much appreciated. :)


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

What a beautiful and meaningful poem! Many of us can relate to it on some level...the friend who's there to help but withdraws his support when the struggle becomes too difficult....whether we're the drowner or the savior. I love the metaphor of the fog's "damp and gnarled fingers". Hauntingly evocative. Thank you!


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you, vespawoolf! Yes, unfortunately, I think many can relate to both sides of that tale. "Hauntingly evocative" - I like that. :)


dreamseeker2 3 years ago

Very frightening scenario for both parties involved. I have almost drowned twice in my life...at the age of four and again at sixteen. I found myself holding my breath while reading this. Even though it was perhaps an analogy. Good writing, with vivid imagery. Great poem, but sad. Voted it up.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Wow, dreamseeker. I certainly would not wish you to relive moments like that, but that is a compliment to me nonetheless. Thank you for the vote up.


phoenix2327 profile image

phoenix2327 3 years ago from United Kingdom

Wow, that was awesome. How many of us have done that very thing? When we're drowning in a sea of troubles we tend to look for someone else to save us. When someone comes along who tries to help, how often did our neediness drive them away?

Brilliant poem.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you!


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

CurrentScience, I do not mind discussions in the slightest, sometimes even debates, but I would rather have open and honest discussion. You are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions and I might share mine, so long as you are respectful. :)


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago

So often I have felt just like this , Life itself can seem like we're drowning ! On the fuunny side though , I once knew a girl who fell asleep on a floaty mattress and drifted out so far at the ocean , they had to go out and get her ! She had a nice nap though !.Nice writing !....Ed


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

That is kind of funny. Kind of scary too. She could've fallen off. Me, I'd likely drown if a wave flipped me over. I don't swim well enough. Didn't learn how until I was 21. I also have a fear of water slides because I went down one when I was 13 and got pulled out of the water by the lifeguard. She thought I was drowning, but the problem was that my waste-length hair was in my eyes and face! I was trying to get it out of my face so that I could see. It really wasn't that deep. haha


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

A great share leaving much food for thought.

A great poem shanmarie and here's wishing you a great day.

Eddy.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you or reading, Eddy. Hope you have a wonderful day as well.


Crystal Tatum profile image

Crystal Tatum 3 years ago from Georgia

Wow, this really touched me. I can relate so much. The sadness, the hopelessness, that moment when salvation seems to have arrived and then to not be able to accept it. Voted up and beautiful and sharing.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you, Crystal. I appreciate it.


dghbrh profile image

dghbrh 3 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

Very deep and even it made me feel as if I am too floating. Life if we see is really sometimes kind of a sea of emotions. Many a times I felt like let go and just sink to the bottom. I could well relate to your thoughts very mush. But dear we have to go on till the time end. Hope you enjoy your day today. Liked this wonderful piece here. Votes way up and shared across.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Aw, I honestly would not want you to feel like you are floating. That was part of an emotion I felt in passing. Thank you for stopping by to read and for the share. It's much appreciated! You have a great day as well.


dghbrh profile image

dghbrh 3 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

Thanks dear...but its your words the way being expressed...too lovely. Keep it up always.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you.


wayne barrett profile image

wayne barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

When you spoke of drowning and a savior trying to help, I immediately thought of a family member or friend trying an intervention with a loved one. Many who are depressed, addicted, etc, know that they are drowning but just don't have the strength to save themselves. And of course there is always that little voice in the back of your mind that says to just give up.

Very good piece and voting up!


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Interesting take on that, Wayne. You are right about many people being aware of the fact they are drowning. Thank you for coming by to read and for the vote up.


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 3 years ago

What a poem. It has touched me on many levels.Through my life I constantly struggle with different problems and situations where it seems like I am drowning and no matter what I do I feel I will sink to the bottom alone.Even when I have help it seems only temporary and soon I am on my own again.On another level I love to swim and I have been on both sides as a swimmer helping someone in a tough situation and I have been stuck in a bad spot where I wonder if I will end up going down.It is reality of the situation that I don't think about since I never liked the outcome.Here today to reflect on better times and days.Knowing all to well how much stress and anxiety and death can only be so close.Thanx for sharing and looking forward to many more.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Dream On, I'm not quite sure how to respond to that. I am glad that you can relate to my words, though at the same time I wish that you did not. Even if temporary, help is nice, and eventually I suppose one must learn to swim. Those words came from some very strong emotions I felt, but as they say, time heals, and I had to choose whether to sink or to swim. Sinking might offer peace, but swimming also brings joy!


carolinemd21 profile image

carolinemd21 3 years ago from Close to Heaven

Beautiful poem full of emotions.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you, Caroline. I appreciate it.


Theater girl profile image

Theater girl 3 years ago from New Jersey

I thought of this as two sides of the same person, one side possibly dragging the other down, until she learns to save herself. At any rate, its a great poem!


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

That's an awesome interpretation, Theater girl. Thanks so much for taking the time to read!


Theater girl profile image

Theater girl 3 years ago from New Jersey

You are most welcome!


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

:-) :-)


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 3 years ago from Stepping past clutter

shanmarie, this poem reminds me of being a lifeguard. We were told to release the drowning victim and save ourselves, if necessary. Sometimes both end up drowning. When I write a poem I am savior and saved, working through each character to her logical end. I find this poem very realistic and perhaps metaphorical, but certainly it reminds me that I have a dual nature!

Oops, I guess Theater Girl already said this... so much for original thought haha.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Haha! Sometimes I wonder if there are any original thoughts left...or at least original concepts. ;) On the other hand, you just confirmed my thoughts about how a lifeguard has to be able to keep from being pulled under with the person drowning.

Makes me think of when I was a kid. My friend did not believe me when I told her I couldn't swim, so she pulled me out into deeper water and I paniced. I nearly pulled her under, trying to keep my own head above the water. She never forced me into a depth I was uncomfortable with again.

I didn't even learn to swim until I was 21, and even now, I don't swim well enough to save anyone else. I can more or less do laps, and that is about it. I can barely even tread water. LOL.


ocfireflies profile image

ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

shanmarie,

After reading all of the comments, I think you have accomplished what so many poets strive to achieve: the ability to touch readers on so many levels. For me, I felt as though you had your hand on my pulse. Voted Up and Awesome.

Best Always,

Kim


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks, Kim. I appreciate your reading and taking the time to leave such a thoughtful comment.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 14 months ago from london

Great poem. Navigating through heavy waters all alone.

My Boat is sometimes choppy, but still I sail. Mother Horizon beckons me to the land of the Great Unknown. Lots of Hugs.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 14 months ago

Hi , my sweet Shannie , I have read personal accounts of ALMOST drowning's , I am told that it's the MOST peaceful way to die and often wonder about that . A guy told me once who fell through the ice , that after a few seconds he almost felt euphoric in releasing his hold on trying to save himself , fortunately someone else grabbed his collar in time . Nice witing of course ........as usual !....Hugs


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 14 months ago from Texas Author

I like that view point, manatia!! Thanks for stopping by this old one.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 14 months ago from Texas Author

Hey, Cowboy Ed! Interesting account. I tend to think it would be euphoric if one stopped fighting, not unlike accepting our mortality on a daily basis. I almost had a head-on collision the other day and it is not quite as terrifying as imagined, for me, this time anyhow. When I was a child I was scared of dying. Now, a few times, I've been faced with the truth of whether to panic or accept. Evil feeds on fear, though. Peace thrives with acceptance.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 14 months ago

And you my dear are a peaceful woman , and a beautiful soul !


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 14 months ago from Texas Author

Aw, thanks! I try to be. I am not always so peaceful, but I am usually more disheartened than angry. And I eventually calm myself if I am afraid or uncertain. No other choice. As with the poem, people leave otherwise.

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