Submarine Mountains

Cale Young Rice

Under the sea, which is their sky, they rise
   To watery altitudes as vast as those
   Of far Himalayan peaks impent in snows
   And veils of cloud and sacred deep repose.
Under the sea, their flowing firmament,
   More dark than any ray of sun can pierce,
   The earthquake thrust them up with mighty tierce
And left them to be seen but by the eyes
Of awed imagination inward bent.
Their vegetation is the viscid ooze,
   Whose mysteries are past belief or thought.
   Creation seems around them devil-wrought,
   Or by some cosmic urgence gone distraught.
Adown their precipices chill and dense
   With the dank midnight creep or crawl or climb
   Such tentacled and eyeless things of slime,
Such monster shapes as tempt us to accuse
Life of a miscreative impotence.
About their peaks the shark, their eagle, floats,
   In the thick azure far beneath the air,
   Or downward sweeps upon what prey may dare
   Set forth from any silent weedy lair.
But one desire on all their slopes is found,
   Desire of food, the awful hunger strife,
   Yet here, it may be, was begun our life,
Here all the dreams on which our vision dotes
In unevolved obscurity were bound.
Too strange it is, too terrible! And yet
   It matters not how we were wrought or whence
   Life came to us with all its throb intense,
   If in it is a Godly Immanence.
It matters not,—if haply we are more
   Than creatures half-conceived by a blind force
   That sweeps the universe in a chance course:
For only in Unmeaning Might is met
The intolerable thought none can ignore.

Poems by This Author

Haunted Seas by Cale Young Rice
A gleaming glassy ocean
The Immanent God by Cale Young Rice
See your God in the jelly-fish

Further Reading

Poems about Sharks
Angel Shark
by Hailey Leithauser
Ants and Sharks
by Tomasz Rózycki
by Ernest Hilbert
At Shark Reef Sanctuary
by Eva Alice Counsell
Beach Walk
by Henri Cole
Coffee and Oranges
by Joel Brouwer
Flying Fish: An Ode [excerpt]
by Charles Wharton Stork
Haunted Seas
by Cale Young Rice
I Wonder What It Feels Like to be Drowned?
by Robert Graves
In a Breath
by Carl Sandburg
Inheritance of Waterfalls and Sharks
by Martín Espada
Murray Dreaming
by Stephen Edgar
No Place Like Home
by Stephen Cushman
Ode on Dictionaries
by Barbara Hamby
Plague of Dead Sharks
by Alan Dugan
by Brigit Pegeen Kelly
Seal Lullaby
by Rudyard Kipling
Sharks in the Rivers
by Ada Limón
Sharks' Teeth
by Kay Ryan
Shoal of Sharks
by Richard O'Connell
Song of the Paddlers [excerpt]
by Herman Melville
Summer [excerpt]
by James Thomson
The Bluefish
by Isaac McLellan
The Maldive Shark
by Herman Melville
The Ripple Effect
by Jamey Dunham
The Sea is History
by Derek Walcott
The Shark
by Isaac McLellan
The Shark
by Judith Beveridge
The Shark
by William Henry Venable
The Shark
by Lord Alfred Douglas
The Shark's Parlor
by James Dickey
The Sharks
by Denise Levertov
The Sirens
by James Russell Lowell
The Steel Rippers
by Patricia Carlin
Tiger Shark
by Hailey Leithauser
Untitled [There, by the crescent moon, the shark]
by Shido
Upon Shark
by Robert Herrick
What To Do About Sharks
by Vivian Shipley
White Sales
by Allen Grossman
World Below the Brine
by Walt Whitman