Fighting the Deep by Eli Oko

This boat has been washed onto the shore again
This time riddled with more holes
If only the waves had handled this vessel with care
If only the tide knew the time in which enough was enough and brought it back in
Why has the very wood and fine details corroded?
Why has the once shiny parts filled with rust?
Down came the sails
Down came the white sheet surrendering souls
Up rose the sun burning memories into sacred crevices, like temples
Up went the cargo and every other baggage the vessel held
Forward went the feather-like vessel
Forward went the heavy mind on board
Back went the feather-like vessel
Back went the heavy mind on board
Until it buried its hull into the sand
And the anchor was lowered
Like tons of hope rooting itself within
Prayers that it keeps the vessel close
Until its time to brave the deep again
And the sky’s overcast; red in the morn
Like flames in the heavens
Prayers to see the captain in one piece
Yes riddled with holes
Yes broken to the bone
Yes torn at the seams
Yes older
Twenty Seven years later
And this vessel is still fighting the Deep
Twenty Seven years
And the journey is nowhere near over.

I have often written about being at sea and or washed up onto the shore. It is a series of emotion that has followed me for many years. Please see below expressions to follow that adventure…

  1. April 9th 2016 – XXIII Waterfalls – I first found myself under water and compared it to all I expected at 23.
  2. July 8th 2016 – Like Origami – For a second I found a reason to be moulded, a reason to succumb. That I’d become anything for someone who truly wanted to love me. But they were like pirates at sea and comparing this to an ancient ship that experienced piracy in the fall of 1717, I found myself as woman. Powerful, but still so much to learn about what that power can do.
  3. March 6th 2017 – Oceans – I then found myself intrigued by the idea of the lost battles and victories experienced at sea.
  4. May 16th 2017 – Temptation – There was something tempting about the fight. Something memorable about the experience and I didn’t know why I wished to risk everything for something so temporary, so endangering, so reckless.
  5. October 17th 2017 – before i go – Was as if surrendering to the fact that I was overwhelmed by everything. That the one thing I was searching for was suffocating me and for the first time I genuinely felt the vulnerability in loosing time, and subsequently – life.
  6. November 5th 2017 – SOS Signals – I reached out to loved ones for help, sought medication and was soon to start therapy. This was an answer to the last in the series, where I refuse to allow the uncertainty of life to decide my fate. I made a choice to fight back, no matter how hard. And with those around me who cared, it all seemed possible.
  7. December 2nd 2017 – On shore – I came to a realisation that despite determination, I didn’t possess the power to help myself. And when faced with the dilemma of me and someone I cared for drowning at the same time, I noticed something true. That not even the raging seas could contain us. That back and forth we will go, and although affected, we will note be defeated. Something was with us helping us to fight. And back out to sea I go.
  8. November 1st 2019 – For a moment I felt again what lies and pain had brought me. Who could I trust, who truly cared? There was so much to be learned from the feeling of wanting something, even if it is suffocating you. Even if it holds you down and you will never get to know the feeling of liberty. And those lies that held you, become you. Again it is time to break free and over the years I have mastered the skill.
  9. April 6th 2020 – Fighting the Deep – I once again feel washed back upon the shore for another series of self-reflection. Deeper than ever I am facing myself now at 27 and wondering what it all means to be me. Knowing I still have this fight within to acquire me, knowing I am still chasing love, admitting I am still failing to attain both. Fighting the Deep is the first of who knows to come during an era of life back on shore. At this point new people are met, new hope is found and power is restored. Perhaps to stay on land but most likely to prepare for another spell out at sea.

Until the next poem in the series, I say thank you for the journey so far. What a beautiful space we’ve created here.

and as always… enjoy x

3 thoughts on “Fighting the Deep by Eli Oko

    1. “Yes riddled with holes
      Yes broken to the bone
      Yes torn at the seams
      Yes older
      Twenty Seven years later”

      Through all of it, I’ve survived. That’s how many years I’ve been fighting. I turned 27 on March 23rd.


    2. At the time, it was my age. But deeper than just that – it was the age my mum had me. Never had I reflected on age as much as when I was 27. Something solemn and yet disturbing about it.


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