Monday, June 21, 2021

Death From the Deep

Image from Wikipedia.

 Death From the Deep

“The same water than can kill you, drown you, give

you hyperthermia is still capable of helping you to

survive.”--Joe Teti.

As a youngster, on the first day of summer, I 

remember being at Alki Beach, across the width

of Elliott Bay from the Seattle skyline. Often it was

quite warm, in the 80’s--but Puget Sound is a 

kissing cousin, and is connected to the Pacific

Ocean 100 miles to the west; all salt water, and

never much over 45 degrees. While swimming in it

your lips turn numb and blue within 15 minutes. They

say that on the hottest day in August, if you happen

to fall off a Super Ferry, you will have about thirty

minutes before hypothermia will kill you.

Our myriad of lakes is more manageable, the water

temperature is in the 50’s. We are a hardy bunch up

in the Northwest. Your body can adjust to lake water,

and you can stay in it for a lot longer--and if you are

lucky, there aren’t a lot of ducks around, and you can

avoid swimmer’s itch. If you are brave enough to swim 

in our many rivers, prepare for a quick dip, for the water 

is coming off glaciers.

To be an Orca

for a day would be fantastic,

slicing through the Sound.

Glenn Buttkus


Posted over at d'Verse Poet's Pub


indybev said...

My daughter lives in Salem, Oregon, and it was not until she moved there I had never visited the great Northwest. My ancestors followed the Clark br, hers from Virginia to the Falls of the Ohio and did not venture further, but I've enjoyed my visits there. Loved your haibun and haiku, Glenn.

rogblog666 said...

i have always wanted to watch ocra but never been near the sea/ocean at the same time they are in close enough to see loved this.

Maggie C said...

I am in the PNW, and I am not brave enough for the cold lakes and rivers. But, O to be an orca!

Unknown said...

Nicely done Glen. As an east coaster, the water in the sound is always like a polar bear dive to me.

Frank J. Tassone said...

Brrrr! Too cold for my blood! I won't even do Polar Bear swims in the moderate Northeast! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

D. Avery said...

Nope, no way. And I thought Maine waters were cold...

Truedessa said...

That sounds too cold for me, I will take the warmer waters for swimming. It would be amazing to be an orca for a day slicing through the waters.

Ingrid said...

I loved imagining both of the locations you describe. I once turned blue after swimming in a mountain river, as I was stupid enough to put my head underwater. The haiku is fantastic.

ben Alexander said...

Glenn, that would be so much fun!
I love where your imagination took you :)


Ron Rowland said...

Nice background of the cold waters up your way. I too, would like to be Orca for a day (or two), but I myself prefer the warm clear waters of the Caribbean.

Kerfe said...

We might understand life better if we could spend some time inside another species. An orca is a good choice.

Susan Joy Clark said...

Interesting comparisons, and I love the orca haiku. It related but was also different from the main text, unexpected.

JadeLi said...

I love it, an orca for a day! Hoping a certain someone will be in the water? lol

Living in MI I understand about the different kinds of water and the menace yet life-giving nature of it. We don't have sharks here but we have rips that kill some every year. I don't think I could ever live away from the water.

Jane Dougherty said...

I enjoy your history and geography lessons, Glenn.

brudberg said...

Way too cold for me... the water close to where I live is around 70 so that is pretty good, especially on a warm day.

Tzvi Fievel said...

favorite part:

"To be an Orca
for a day would be fantastic,
slicing through the Sound."

Ken / rivrvlogr said...

I imagine that orca smiling as your dip your toe into the cold water.

grapeling said...

I understand it's to be in the 100's this weekend - hope you stay cool as that haiku ~