matt's poetry pocketbook:
poems and poets

The world below brine

Walt Whitman

The world below the brine.
Forests at the bottom of the seas, the branches and leaves,
Sea-lettuce, vast lichens, strange flowers and seeds, the thick tangle, openings, and pink turf,
Different colors, pale gray and green, purple, white, and gold, the play of light through the
     water,
Dumb swimmers there among the rocks, coral, gluten, grass, rushes and the aliment of the
     swimmers,
Sluggish existences grazing there suspended, or slowly crawling close to the bottom,
The sperm-whale at the surface blowing air and spray, or disporting with his flukes,
The leaden-eyed shark, the walrus, the turtle, the hairy sea-leopard, and the sting-ray,
Passions there, wars, pursuits, tribes, sight in those ocean-depths, breathing that thick-
     breathing air, as so many do,
The change thence to the sight here, and to the subtle air breathed by beings like us who walk
     this sphere,
The change onward from ours to that of beings who walk other spheres.