John Westlake

Gold Star - 13,564 Points (Crawley)

021. Diving By The Coral Reef


A small shoal of bright yellow fish
swim in and out of the red fire coral
looking out for predators
they ignore the strange black shadow above them
and swim to another coral

I watch the fish with interest
from behind my plastic dive mask
as I begin to swim deeper
the coral’s change
to the colours of the rainbow

It seems like a new world
hidden beneath the surface
I feel foreign down here
as I don’t understand the beauty
of my surroundings

A mantra swims past
followed by three more
their huge wings
flap slowly and gracefully
as though they were flying

As I turn to go back to the surface
to return to my ageing motor boat
a mud brown octopus
swims up to meet me
and to shake my outstretched hand

Submitted: Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Edited: Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Topic(s): nature


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Poet's Notes about The Poem

This is the first ever writing of mine to be written of foreign soil. In Sharm El Sheikh Egypt to be precise. Written while on holiday in August 2000.

Comments about this poem (021. Diving By The Coral Reef by John Westlake )

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  • Rookie Julia Yusupova (5/14/2014 5:13:00 PM)

    I like the flow of this poem and it tells a story, which is one element I really like in poetry. (Report) Reply

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