Living by Denise Levertov

Every day is a fight to the surface.

Ask me the whys and I have no answer. I really don’t.

At the dinner table, C. pokes me and pokes me like a child picking at a scab, and I stare back at her with nothing to say. I don’t know why I’m sad. I don’t even know if I’m sad. I don’t know if I can even be sad.

Every day is a fight to the surface.

Denise Levertov

The fire in leaf and grass
so green it seems
each summer the last summer.

The wind blowing, the leaves
shivering in the sun,
each day the last day.

A red salamander
so cold and so
easy to catch, dreamily

moves his delicate feet
and long tail. I hold
my hand open for him to go.

Each minute the last minute.



  1. I hear you. A fight to the surface.

    I don’t know what to call the spark of light that exploded the universe into being. But the image of fighting to the surface reminds me of how often I think, “Don’t ask more of me. Anyone. I’m just trying to keep my head above water.”

    And it reminds me of this:

    Denise Levertov – The Avowal

    As swimmers dare
    to lie face to the sky
    and water bears them,
    as hawks rest upon air
    and air sustains them,
    so would I learn to attain
    freefall, and float
    into Creator Spirit’s deep embrace,
    knowing no effort earns
    that all-surrounding grace.

    I wish I could stop fighting to keep my head above water. I wish your struggle to surface wasn’t so hard.

    I wish we could lie back, face to sky, and float.

    Love to you.

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