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Black Pearl
by ryall Friday, Mar 23 2012, 11:40am
international / prose/poetry / literature

diving deeper
and remaining underwater
longer than usual --
my lungs inexplicably
bearing the extra burden
of supplying oxygen
to my body --
i noticed a small overhang
which had escaped
my attention previously

[this dive was to
change my life]

an unusual shell,
caught my eye
one that stood apart
from the usual gifts
the sea offers

surfacing with my prize
i gently pried open
the shell
-- almost the size
of a dinner plate --
to my delight
it contained a natural
black pearl the size of a marble

island people believe
these pearls are possessed
of magical properties,
and are able to bestow
strange powers on the fortunate
or unfortunate possessor of the
pearl –
whatever the case may be

i recall being enthralled
by its silvery grey colour
and the odd luminescence,
it possessed
something i hadn’t noticed

weeks passed
until one moonless night
i was seized by the urge
to night dive;
something not usually done
by novices or professionals
without artificial light sources
and extra equipment

i entered the warm black
tropical sea naked
and allowed myself to be carried
by the impulse

to my amazement,
i discovered i was able to see clearly
in the depths of a moonless night,
though the light that defined
the world beneath
was strange, ghostly
akin to the soft luminescence
of the pearl

to my further amazement
i was able to detect
things usually unseen,
even from trained eyes

a whole new universe
opened up for me
i also seemed to be invisible
to the dangerous denizens
of the deep that hunted in
the night

years have passed since
i earned my living
from the sea, though
i continue to search
secret places
for ‘treasure’

the pearl is with me constantly --

i remain invisible
to the predators
of the day and night

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