Cael Elmore

United States


April 26, 2021


At the bottom of the ocean,
Only darkness surrounds me.
Its weight burdens my shoulders, suffocating my life-giving breath.
I see no end to this ruthless cycle of pain.

Things I used to care about,
I love no longer.
Things I used to succeed at,
I now fail.

Life passes me by while I stand in sorrow.
The direction I had in the past contrasts my now-haywire compass.
The ever growing weight crushes my soul.
Is there a way out?

However, hurricanes halt,
Just as monsoons moderate.
Typhoons terminate, 
Just as cyclones stall.

The same rains that flood cities
Fulfill farmers.
The same waves that antagonize sailors
Satisfy surfers.

I can let the waves of life overtake me or I can flow with the changes.
Either way,
Running water never grows stale.
I just need to keep on flowing.

I am in control of my life,
I am the sailor of my story.
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

I know there is a way out.
I can lift this burdensome weight off my soul.
A good compass always knows the true north.
I can swim with the current of life, joining in its ebbs and flows.

I will succeed,
At things I used to fail.
I will rekindle my fire,
For flames past burnt out.

I see an end to this cycle of pain,
A clear escape route.
Even a little light
Can reach the bottom of the ocean.

Berton, Pierre, and Bruce Lee. “Bruce Lee: The Lost Interview.” CHCH TV, Hong Kong, 9 Dec. 1971.
The line "Running water never grows stale. I just need to keep on flowing," is a direct reference to a quote in this interview between Pierre Berton and Bruce Lee.
Henley, William Ernest. “Invictus by William Ernest Henley.” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation, 2021,
This poem is the impetus of my poem. The lines "I am the master of my fate" and "I am the captain of my soul" are sourced directly from the last two lines of Henley's poem.

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