It is curious how often we are coconuts.
How often we are seeds, just seeds.
Seeds drifting for decades in a desert
That holds nothing for us, except waves
And more waves, and storms, and waves.
We survive, but only
Because our shells are thick and hard.
Thick and hard.
The waves cannot drown us.
The storms cannot break us.
The sharks cannot eat us.
The sea snakes cannot poison us
Because we are thick and hard.
We are well-protected, it’s true.
But we are not alive either.
We are thick and hard
But we are not alive.
For to live is to grow,
And we do not grow.
For to live is to thrive,
And we do not thrive.
For to live is to flourish,
And we do not flourish.
This can go on for decades,
This suspension between life and death,
It can go on for decades.
Then we beach! Most of us never do.
Most of us drift without ever beaching,
Drift suspended — for ages.
Only a few of us find the sand;
Put out shoots that reach up
For the sunlight,
Put out shoots that reach down
For the freshwater.
It is curious, so curious
How when we broke our shells,
How when we cracked ourselves open
And became green
And became vulnerable.
How when we became so tender,
So open, so vulnerable that we bound,
Fated, destined and doomed ourselves
To get hurt, to get stung, to get bitten and poisoned
How that is when,
How that is precisely when
We came alive.
This poem is a rework of a poem I first published some time ago.