Thursday, January 14, 2016

I Could Say I Believe in the Ocean

Today for Spiritual Journey Thursday we are sharing about Carol's One Little Word BELIEVE. Be sure to visit Holly for links from other pilgrims!

"Believe," for me, is an essential word. I think I have spent a good deal of my life thinking about what I believe instead of just believing. Every few years I write a "Creed" poem, and what I find is that what I believe is far less firmament than water -- always shifting, swirling, moving, changing. For a long time this movement bothered me. Shouldn't I know what I believe in? Shouldn't it be more permanent than that? But one has only to look at the natural world to know that change, flux, movement is the way of all living (and nonliving) things.

Here are some things I am working on believing right now:

I am enough.
I am exactly where I am meant to be.

And, going with these water-y feelings, here is a new "creed" poem.

I Could Say I Believe in the Ocean

But what I mean is,
I believe in water:
leagues wide
and miles deep,
still-cool-cold on one shore,
warm-salty on the other.

I believe in clownfish
and anemone,
riotous coral reef
and cruising grouper,

octopuses origami-ing
themselves into
castaway bottles
and now-you-see-em-
now-you-don't krill
diving into
the mouths of whales.

I believe in turquoise
and teal, cobalt
and blacker-than-black.
In shipwrecks
and tsunamis
and deep-sea

I believe in a world
with enough anything
for everyone
where I am a boat
floating quiet
as a moon jellyfish,

weaving between sharks
and icebergs,
allowing the current
to carry me
wherever it will.
- Irene Latham


  1. Irene, a creed poem is an amazing way of affirming what we believe in. Throughout your poem I felt a calm movement through the ocean noting life moving forward despite the weavings of the world. Thank you for providing a literary side to my word believe with a strong bent on what you believe and where your journey takes you. Thank you, Irene.

  2. you are blue and greens I'm earth tones... a hawk flying high, a horse standing alone as a spring breeze tugs at it's tail, the musky smell of a stall and how dust particles dance each time I move

  3. I love your idea of writing a creed poem, and the way you morphed your feelings of the watery impermanence of your beliefs into a poem that is full of the water's creatures and movements. So enjoyed this!

  4. A creed poem! Perfect! I may do this with my students. ;-) Loved this image: "octopuses origami-ing"
    You're right - life is all about "change, flux, and movement." Thank you for your beautiful contribution to Carol's word, BELIEVE. I love reading all the various perspectives on these OLWs!

  5. Thank you for welcoming us pilgrims to your site, and for sharing your miles-deep poem. Yesterday, I was thinking that God really has provided in nature all we need to live physically healthy lives. Thank you for choreographing, albeit metaphorically, how everything this needs to be in God's Creation is, and then when we immerse ourselves in His expressed Goodness--no matter where or how it takes us, all is ok. God bless you! And thanks!

  6. Thank you, Irene. This is just what I needed to read today. xo

  7. "...allowing the current to carry me wherever it will." Sometimes I want to control that current, but I know that is impossible. I am going to do some research on creed poems. I think I need to do this. Thank you!

  8. I love this poem, both for its message and its amazing imagery. Origami-ing! Really! I think it is time to teach my students about Creed poems and This I Believe statements. Stay tuned. I have a feeling they will have a lot to say.

  9. Irene, I've never written a creed poem, but you've inspired me to give it a try. "I believe in a world
    with enough anything
    for everyone"
    That's a world I want to live in too! Thank you for this!

  10. Oh, loved this, Irene! I missed it before. Thanks for linking it today. It isn't to be missed!

  11. I love this creed poem and others I've read in your books. The focus on the individual beauties of the ocean rather than the abstraction "the ocean" is perfect. Thank you!

  12. Lovely! Your creed seems like a good place to put down roots and stay awhile. You've inspired me to see if I can put my own beliefs into words. Thank you, Irene.

  13. My daughter did a "This I Believe" statement with her Girl Scout troop in 4th grade and then had another whack at it for her Coming-of-Age ceremony at our congregation in 10th grade. It was hard both times because I have failed to communicate and model sufficiently that which post and poem capture: the world changes, our creeds must change, or we die an inner death, calcified. Let this message go out to those who want to believe that either holy book or constitution cannot change!

    Oh, and--LOVELY language, Irene.

  14. I love the idea of the creed poem and will give it a try.


Your thoughts?