Deep Sea Diver – Carol Kanter

In wet suit, mask, fins, I shoulder on vest, tank,
add weights to counter buoyancy and, regulator in mouth,
roll backward over the dive boat’s gunwale
entering a world beyond given limits, to cull its images—

the dance and dart of electric blue and angel gold,
clown-nose red and spotlight white,
schools of silver sparks,
the dead-man’s float of steely barracuda gray,
coral colonies’ floral imitations.

But such beauty fails to quench curiosity,
faced with a suspicion that truth lies deeper.

I drift lower. To the seabed, where a rowboat—
waterlogged, rusted oarlocks missing oars—
reeks of abandonment in spite of the last-ditch cling
of silent barnacles.

I fight the urge to flee, rise slowly,
bearing the weight of discovery, stop
to decompress, re-claim colors the deeps leached out,

climb from the ancient, salty realm
into air fresh with possibility.


Carol Kanter’s poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies. This particular poem reflects her conviction that psychological insights, though often hard to come by, can be useful and restorative. Atlanta Review gave Carol three International Merit Awards before publishing three others of her poems. Finishing Line Press published her two chapbooks: “Out of Southern Africa,” (2005); “Chronicle of Dog,” (2006). Two poetry books—No Secret Where Elephants Walk, and Where the Sacred Dwells, Namaste (DualArts Press, 2010 and 2012) marry Carol’s poems to her husband’s photography from Africa and from India, Nepal and Bhutan. See

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