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Poem: Underwater Unsettlement


Shaun Ranft is a Lake Effect sports contributor and the former editor of the website The Sports Post. But as much as he loves sports, Ranft 's true writing passion has always been in poetry. He recently shared another of his pieces, "Underwater Unsettlement":

don't shut your eyes
there's so much overhead.

cycle after cycle,
it all remains
the same.
yet different,
from one landing to the next.

rain starts to fall,
trickling down
each friendly face.
drops continue
and it is in that moment
you remember:

like clouds overhead,
words can break.

as the moon rises,
a remedy refuses to reverse
the vision of
a smile slinking under the sea.
however friendly,
you cannot get past
the holes
throughout its body.
however wholesome,
you shudder to think
what rests
above the surface.

then a thought occurs -
a most terrible thought.
what will the bear of the bay say
you fail to return?

on the other hand
you're already underneath the water,
so you might as well enjoy it,
no matter how unsettling the smile.

cycle after cycle,
it comes from a place of sincerity.

there's nothing left to heal,
regardless of
whether you have the means
at your side.

with each step,
things get a little smoother.
you're skipping stones underwater,
you cannot speak;
you cannot breathe.

all you see is
that unsettling smile.
all you sense is
that nervous energy
as the bay bear
submerges itself to take
what was rightfully his.

before you slithered
under the sea,
things were simpler.
now there's nowhere
to swim but up,
and you're out of your depth.

Shaun Ranft is a writer living in Milwaukee, Wis. He wrote for and managed the online sports publication The Sports Post, and is a sports contributor for Lake Effect. However, now that the sports website came to an end, Ranft is getting back to his more creative writing side as a poetry contributor. When he isn't at his day job, Ranft finds time each day to scribble something down and eventually workshop it into a poem.