Poem: Shard [on grief] by Lily Robinson
Lily Robinson, a wild swimmer and poet from the UK, commented that my relationship with the ocean inspired her. Our connection sparked a unique collaboration between us, her words, my visuals and narration. May Lily's evocative words and my images help you find the courage to face and move through your own grief.
By Lily Robinson
This morning I woke, fathoms deep,
Pinned to the bottom of the sea.
Trapped in a cloud of swirling sand
And ink thick liminality.
Resisting the seduction of a vortex
And you, the axis of sweet control,
As I rip and slip from your tentacle grip
And a love that would swallow me whole.
I feel it here still,
I coil and shudder in pain.
The silence rings as heavy as a hundredweight bell
And I know I will not see you again.
For my torso is pink and yours is as bone
Greying on the ocean floor.
And as I swim, now resolutely, to the surface
I gasp light, raise ribs and restore.
But you leave me with a scar, a glistening shard
Hidden by an artery.
To remove it would be dangerous
Corrupting the essence of me.
It would leave me without your precious gift
In the form of technicolour sight
And a love that was as fierce as the exploding sun
Cradled in the diamond night.
© Lily Robinson 2021
Editor's Note (Dawn Swimmer): Water has a way of moving the inner waters, to unlocking doorways and to giving courage to do things in and out of the water we might not have imagined possible. Lily told me that Shard [on grief] came to her partly inspired by photos and posts she experienced in my IG gallery @dawn_swimmer. I must admit that I find this very moving; that by sharing the movement of my own inner waters as I relate to the Sea and exposing my soul and journey through my photos and words (with courage), I inspire others to do the same thing. And that is how the world turns and evolves, flows and creates as we intermingle our energies with one another growing, learning, healing and expanding. Thank you, Lily, for trusting me with your precious poem and for giving this gift to others working through their own grief.
When Lily shared this poem with me, I found myself wanting to interact with it - to hear it, to say, to feel it deeply, to swim in it. Grief is a deep, challenging emotion; often felt profoundly, harshly, stabbing, coming in waves, leaving one exhausted and drained. An emotion without apparent end, relentless and cruel. The amazing thing is light does eventually return, one day. Joy creeps in, hanging around at the door, waiting to receive you again. Many times the Sea helps wash away the sorrow and comforts the weary soul, renewing and replenishing the spirit. It's apt that Lily's poem uses the Sea to help describe this profound journey of grief.
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What a powerful piece! I am profoundly moved by these words of grief and the remarkable photography.
Together this cooperative blending of kindred souls is one to be shared. Is there anyone alive who has not felt such grief?