Submersible

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The SONAR tone bounded aimlessly through the massive expanse all around us, but all signs said “nothing to write home about.”

The captain sighed softly while everyone else tried to bury their loneliness in productivity.

The disparity between the nuclear-capable, inescapable, matte-black shell that shielded us was somehow more obvious with a glance through the periscope.

Even if you’re neither agoraphobic nor claustrophobic, being packed sardine-like at the bottom of the ocean can coax both out in short notice.

Ping… ping… ping…

“I see a huge object at 8 o’clock, sir” said the navigator.

So many bloodshot eyes stared in his direction at once.

“Properties,” the captain asked.

“30 feet long, moving toward hostile waters,” the navigator listed.

“Let’s investigate,” said the captain.

The vessel turned slowly, deliberately, to find the object.

“It appears to be diving,” said the navigator.

 The captain commanded coldly “Arm the torpedos,”

We all looked at each other at once itching for something to do, not forgetting that a hole in the hull the size of a quarter would let in a jet of water that could slice a man in two.

Ping… ping… ping… ping…

We were approaching now.

The captain pulled the periscope down.

“On my command,” he said holding his arm up.

Just enough light filtered through from the surface,

To show a sperm whale corpse slowly falling.

“Captain Ishmael?”

“Don’t call me that.” 

The navigator apologized profusely, and asked for information,

“Our worst enemy, another false positive,” the captain said dejectedly.

Each bloodshot eye fell back to its station,

In silent disappointment.

DECLASSIFIED: Hydraulic Jump

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You can read the original poem Hydraulic Jump here.

Water’s strength, in Taoist terms,comes from its ability to yield.

Just as Rome was not built in a day, the Grand Canyon was carved in increments by the flow of the Colorado River.

Gravity, erosion and time can cleave mountains, though it can take an ample amount of that last ingredient.

The through-line? It’s automatic. Insofar as the Colorado River is left largely to its own devices.

And what looks static in the course of a day, a year or a lifetime is actually constantly changing with the topography of its surroundings.

With no mind to straighten their courses, rivers end up as magnificent squiggles, rending valleys and mountains alike.

When a river flows downward (usually in the case of waterfalls) the friction can cause a small portion of the stream to flow in the opposite direction of the current.

This is the eponymous hydraulic jump.

And in that vein, sometimes order can look a whole lot like entropy.

From different perspectives, rivers can take on many different forms.

But at the end of the day, life moves with the squiggles, and is in no rush to adjust.

When you recognize things as they are, then change comes easily– imperceptibly, even.

Nymph-o-mania

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The Nephelae,

In their endless nebulousness,

Floated,

With empty jars,

Once filled with rain water.

The Hamadryads waited,

With breath bated,

For a little drizzle,

But the Nephelae,

Wasted all of it,

Once again,

On a parade.

So to save face,

They went to their sisters,

The Naiades,

To fill their pitchers.

“Back so soon,” they asked,

Poking their heads out,

From the running rapids.

The Nephelae looked at their feet,

“Use it wisely,”

Said the Naiades.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you”

The Nephelae screamed,

Dipping their jars,

Into the river.

They floated off, toward the forest,

Then the Aurae blew them away,

Over the Amphitheater.

“Now’s as good a time as any!”

And they dumped their cargo,

Onto the concert.