The Blue Grotto

The president of the United States may be the most powerful man in the world, but he is still only a man, conflicted, at times unsure, for life is an inky black pool in a beautiful blue grotto, and sometimes life is bitter cold ice.

He swam effortlessly through the deep, sparkling water. Like a seal, he thought, intoxicated with pleasure, delighted with the long stream of bubbles rising slowly to the distant surface. Giant ferns reached up from the bottom, swaying gently in the wake of his passing. Fantastically colorful fish of all sizes and description darted past, unmindful of the intrusion, incurious, intent on their own lives and destinies. Below him a column of tiny lobsters marched across the sandy bottom, their feet churning up clouds of silt. He reached for a lobster and held it in his hand, wishing he could talk to it, wishing he knew what it was thinking, what it was feeling. As he watched, large fish attacked the lobsters, who defended themselves by raising their pincers, a dense forest of sharp claws, a living, serrated shield. The fish, undeterred, slashed at the lobsters, tearing away the carapaces, shredding the flesh, which floated free, to be gobbled voraciously by smaller fish attracted by the carnage. Deeply disturbed, he swam toward the surface, toward the shimmering light, a light that unaccountably seemed to recede slowly into the distance. With a sudden shock he realized he was no longer in the blue grotto, but on the ice, crouching by a breathing hole, spear poised, waiting for a seal to come up for air.

A voice inside, a soft spoke word
The grotto was his mother
And in his mind the voice he heard
The ice his little brother
But was he lobster or the seal
Perhaps the mad crazed fishes
Perhaps the grotto would reveal
The nature of his wishes
The bubbles rose in trail again
The lobster still in place there
Still marching, meaning what? What then?
How much can troubled soul bear?
He did not know if he were seal
Or man or lobster searching
For meaning. Is a life for real?
Or just a staggered lurching
Toward light within the grottoed walls
Or on the northern ice floe
He lives in governed marble halls
And knows that he could not know