Deep Breath

A swan sinks its head deep into the water in search of food.

Swan: derived from the Indo-European root word 'swen': to sound, to sing.

This work presents a mute swam, so named for its infrequent declarations.


With Breath Held Fast

Above the waterline,
On silk-blue-skin glide free,
As feathered monarch robed in spotless white,
With jeweled beads,
As sparks of spirit slide then drop once more into this sea of life.

Reach long and slender neck-deep breath held fast,
Search far this darkened world of liquid cloud-green silt,
Against the stubborn force of buoyancy you grasp,
Insight of air your sense of place rebuilt.



One of Many Views

Poetry seeks to communicate complex ideas simply. As the person who wrote 'With Breath Held Fast' I hold a particular view of it, however my thoughts are no more valuable, no more right or wrong than yours. An 'innocent reading' can often be the most enlightening. There are times however when it is useful to reflect upon another's outlook, and in this spirit I hope you find my brief musings worthwhile.

I watched a swan dip its head into the water of a lake and the contortions of bright summer light move its liquid form. It was like gazing at an open fire but with life within. Beads of glistening water slithered off its feathers as the swan raised its slender neck for air. I pondered on how this bird lived both above and below the waterline, and how the swan's daily existence was in this way richer than mine.

As I worked on the image I was increasingly drawn as much by its mystery and meaning as by its beauty. The swan subdues its breath in search of food much like we contain our inner thoughts in the company of others. Although my ideas were fragmented at the time, I felt something in common, something of value that I was driven to share.

The poem concludes with its primary focus of being in sight (the prospect of gaining insight) of a different place. Perhaps rebuilding our world with fresh perspective is as much a part of our nature and as crucial for our well being as the swan's urge to hold its breath.


An extract from the full size image follows below.