Head First

I’m the girl who dives right in – head first
without even bothering to dip a toe to feel
the temperature. Jumping, falling, then splash!
I am consumed whole with one icy bite
of submersion. Slowly I rise to the top
and breathe.  Shock quickly morphs to refreshment
with a chill of contentment, relief washes over me.
The hard part is over.
Time to move on.

Others step carefully, slowly submerging
one body part at a time. Shivering, bracing,
inching, carefully wading. Sweet trepidation?
Malevolent torture! I watch them debating,
deciding how wet they want to get. And you?
You are like them.

I see you looking at me. Circling, testing my waters,
wondering if I’m worth getting your hair wet.
My surface cool, calm, refreshing, but you fear
what lies below or around the bend.  How cold
can I get? How strong is my undertow? How rapid
are my white waters? All things you can not tell
from a mere dip of a toe.

You search for your answers, but only find me
smiling up at you, gliding, floating, moving,
this way and that,  playfully splashing,
as strands of hair swim ’round my head,
each forming a curl that mimics my finger
and beckons you closer, all to convince you,
come, the water is fine.

Head first I go under again, pointed toes
the last thing you see before I disappear
into murky depths below.  I’ll surface
in a moment. You’re almost positive I will.
Won’t I?  Your eyes scan for signs of life, still
you stand with your insecurities, curiously
undecided, on dry land.

And, will you join me? Dive in to me?
Merge in to me? Hold on to me
while we wash blissfully out to sea?
If needed, when needed, will you
reach out to me? Come find me? Rescue me
from the murky depths below?
From the unknown?
From myself?
Will you?

You inch in a little closer to the edge
of me, stepping softly. Testing, pacing,
testing.

It’s okay.
Take your time making up your mind.
But, once decided
please do me this one small favor –

Don’t bother to ever let me drown slowly. No,
simply let me dive head first into your truth
so, I can move on
to mine.

~ smj

Into You, by The Cinematic Orchestra

28 Comments to “Head First”

  1. head first in so many ways confronting honestly what’s happening–or not–between people…an expanded haiku..ha…and wanting the same from the other person…yeah, ‘honesty’–not exactly the thing for many folks..wave to sam

  2. well, NOT SAM…ha, I am NOT I twister …ha..

  3. Oh man, I love these moments — when my words merge with the creativity of others. Heck, if I smoked, I’d have lit one by now…

    A “found” poem, for the both of you:

    Join me.

    Rescue me.

    Save me.

    Dive head first into the murk
    will you?

    Don’t let me down.

    I’m the girl
    consumed in
    icy submersion.

    I’m the girl
    testing the waters

    I’m the girl
    consumed whole

    jumping
    falling
    in one big bite

    Will you
    hold onto me?

    save me?

    From the unknown?

    From myself?

  4. Oh my mind is racing!!! Lovely!

    First: I just now saw the “Sam I Am (Not)” up top. Brilliant! :)

    Second: I love that you posted this poem after the haiku of same subject.

    Third: I wrote a very similar poem years ago that sucked. It just did. I read it recently and laughed. You said what I had been trying to.

    Fourth: I am an ocean swimmer, at times an avid one, so this writing hit me at home. I’m both people. Some days I love to balls out dive into the surf. I live in CA so the water is chilly and YOWZA it’s a jolt! Even on most summer days! And then there are days where I do the half-hour flirtation with the sea before sliding on my fins and taking off to revel in her. You captured the swim, the playfulness, and the dance of hello between liquid reality and ours of flesh so wonderfully for me!!!

    Thank You!

    • Forester –
      1st – thanks on the name. I made it up myself. ;)

      2nd – the haiku was so much fun to write, that it just seemed to call me to expand on it. Sometimes, I go in spurts with my topics of writing.. before suddenly taking a turn.

      3rd – I somehow doubt your poem “sucked”. You write very well.. but, sometimes, we are our own worse critics. Like, I really didn’t know if people would like any of my poems either. Been writing most my life, but only in the past couple years have I really started sharing any of them. I am glad you liked my version of this. It makes me want to share more.

      4th – you lucky dawg!! Are you right on the coast in CA? I only get to the ocean a couple times a year – IF I’m lucky. I LOVE to swim, though. Fortunately, I do live close to Lake Ontari… and, pools are always nice too.

      Again, thanks… =)

      • Hey!

        Geez….I am lucky. Live about 15 minutes from the prettiest beach in LA. El Matador. Lovely! And I don’t go down there as often as I should/could. Your comment kicks my ass! Seriously need to go!

        It’s funny how so many of us just started sharing our writing/art. I’m the same. Done it my whole life but was SO afraid to share. Have thrown TONS of art and writing away over the years. It’s so FREEING just putting it out there and not caring if or where it lands! Expression of all forms is subjective anyway! Here’s to sharing and I’m so glad you’re sharing yours! Keep it up! :)

  5. One of the things I find fascinating about poetry is how I can say something in prose and offend people, and say the same thing in poetry and make it beautiful. Of the last 2 poems I wrote, one was about open marriage, the other was about falling in love with a female friend and the fact I couldn’t sleep with her because she “loved me like a brother” hurting me. If I wrote a blog and said “Open marriage is nifty” and “I’m hurt and bitter because my friend rejected me for wanting to sleep with her” People would be appalled.

    You write this poem about emotionally (and possibly physical) intimacy and say “Screw caution, I want to get into you RIGHT NOW.” If you wrote that as prose you’d get hate mail. But as poetry it is beautiful and gentle. Poetry is a trick. A trick I say!

    • TW – =) You’re funny. I like your translation of my poem… LOL (“Screw caution, I want to get into you RIGHT NOW.”). I didn’t think that was quite what I meant – but, I could see that interpretation as well. ;)

      Perhaps, it IS a trick. A trick of words… A trick to find a way to express what might be undesirable situations or topics, into a feeling. To evoke emotions, rather that just describing the topic itself. .? To me, poetry usually leaves some guesswork involved on what exactly inspired it, or even what it’s about… but, it’s the way it makes you (or others) feel – and how they can relate to that feeling. Or, maybe, that’s just me.

      Thanks for reading, and take care TW.

  6. I am the girl in this piece in so many ways.

    I need to spend hours here – you say many things I have felt inside.

    It feels like home in my head (if that made any sense LOL – I often don’t)

    M.L.

    • MoonLight –
      Thank you so much for your heartfelt comment. Time is something we never seem to have enough of, isn’t it? But, feel free to spend as mcuh of it here as you like. You made perfect sense… and, I am glad my words speak to you. It’s always nice to find someone who can relate…
      Take care,
      ~Sam

  7. Sam and ML:

    Ya know, I was thinking the same thing…I kept getting your two blogs confused in my head. Interesting..

    The Nerd

  8. captivating work, either as companion to your haiku or swimming out solo on its own

    i am drawn by a bit of twist, where the one not yet having made that leap to rescue is inching toward a decision, but then “once decided” we focus not on our own belly flop in, but flip to seeing how you wish to be saved, and that not held or lifted up but how sent down, then as quick a twist to yet another headfirst dive you intend. i like that, it feels so familiar, so very familiar

    very effective imagery. good poetry

    .m

    • magewing – hmmmm…..?? I like your twists… they add a whole new dimension…. and raise some very good questions and create additional interesting visuals. Inspiration for, perhaps, another poem. I like the way you think – so deeply. Your comments are so poetic in themselves…
      Thank you!

  9. Oh I AM that girl !

    This REALLY resonates with me:

    “My surface
    cool, calm
    refreshing
    but you fear
    what lies below
    or around the bend.”

    You know my “bestest” friends say I “hold back”, always so calm, not really allowing myself to friek out and be angry when I need to be. Maybe this is what they have been trying to tell me…the “not knowing” what lies below or around the bend.”

    I remember a school teacher once commenting to me “Still waters run deep”…in reference to me. Maybe this too is what she was alluding to.

    Thank you for the opportunity for Reflection !

    • Colleen –
      Hello “that girl!” ;) I’m glad this poem resonated with you, and that you took the time to visit and comment. So many things are only “skin deep”, aren’t they? Surface value only. How much we chose to show others is the question.. and some things, even we can’t know until they surface from within us…
      I hope you stop back.
      Thanks,
      ~ Sam

  10. and now i see what you mean… this one sounds like it could have come out of my own head :) i especially love the line about being worth getting your hair wet… you have amazing talent; can’t wait to read more!

    the author

  11. the author –
    I’m glad you could feel it too… the connection of things rattling round in our heads, I mean… ;) and, thank you very much for the read and nice comment.

  12. I did that once at the pool in front of IAO Needle in Hawaii. The water was about 45 degrees. I think I stopped breathing for probably a couple of minutes. Loved it. One tiny suggestion at the end add “to mine.” Someone a long time ago suggested to me that all my writing was simply my truth. Great poem, great job.

  13. really glad I took the time to look over your most read list… there is a reason! this is a wonderful composition! kudos my friend!

  14. This one offers SO much, hard to excavate its layers in just a few reads (I’ve tried). Working my way through your blog is such a joy Sam, like Christmas morning where each new package I receive is more delightful than the last. I truly appreciate most people’s creativity — it is a brave act simply to share — but every once in awhile, someone’s words do more than just entertain me, they get under my skin, into my soul, touch my spirit. More than a few of your poems succeed in reminding me of my core belief: I believe in the power of words. THANK YOU for sharing yours with us.

    • Purple, I am truly humbled and moved by your comment… so, yes… words do have power. Seriously, this comment made my day, so thank you again…

      And, about this poem… it’s is one of my personal favorites of mine… I think, it does say a lot about me, in general, and also about what I was feeling at the time I wrote it… I don’t imagine it would, or should, be easy to excavate the meanings from this… sometimes, I’m not even sure myself where things come from, or where they are going as I start writing… if that makes any sense.

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