Staying Afloat by Marisa Signora 

Staying Afloat by Marisa Signora 

staying afloat mirrors images;

a girl on a raft drifting on the huge expanse of the ocean

lost in time and space

the scolding harshness of the sun on her whole body

the relentless winds hurling around attacking her from all directions

threatening to plunge her in, never to be seen again

and maybe never missed

through the tornadoes of rain, cutting her like thin shards of glass

clinging on for life

numb, frozen, too terrified to let go, loosen her grip – even slightly

still staying afloat, shivering through the extremities of the nights 

and days combining into one long never ending nightmare of constant bobbing

only broken by small moments of calm

blindfolded through so much darkness, navigating her demons

constantly triggered by the strange echoing night sounds looming across the water

from under the water

from everywhere

it didn’t seem fair she couldn’t see what she was battling

yet somehow she could ‘see’ much clearer

still staying afloat when every ounce of her being wants to give in

let her grip loosen

surrender to the water, to the demons

let her body slowly sink into depths of the dark swirling pool

answer their beckoning, it was tempting

so many times she felt her resolve evaporating, dissolving, melting

and feeling its toll

still staying afloat helpless yet 

within a molecule of faith that still remains

 she knows she can prevail.

Here I see myself…

Poem and art by Marisa Signora ©2024

Analysis of the poem: Staying Afloat

Staying afloat with the imagery of a girl on a raft lost at sea, is a symbol for how I can feel inside myself at times. When the world becomes too demanding or overwhelming, even the self-imposed pressures can at times bog me down and left feeling very lost. 

I have tried to create vivid emotive energy through the similes and metaphors used. The intense feelings of the girl on the raft, through time change. There is extreme fear of the unknown, the will and fight to survive, the reaction to cling on to everything and anything. 

Within the darkness of the nights, even in the extremities of scorching heat of the day, without even really recognising it at the time, she starts to see things much more clearly, looking inward. When true survival takes hold for any length of time and everything is stripped bare, there is opportunity to really see inside your own soul, fears, dreams, and your true self. 

Eventually with this new insight, she realises that all she can really have is her faith in life, her will to survive, yet what will be will be. Without giving up, she surrenders and in this surrendering she finds her real power and her real strength. There is some rhyming to help the flow, yet I wanted a slightly non rhyming staggered effect to simulate the bobbing motion of the sea.

I end it with ‘here I find myself’ as I feel this is the process I often go through in my own head when I am struggling, yet in truth we all hold our own power to create and be.

About the Poet

I was born in Milan and largely lived in the UK. I have taught primary aged children for quite some time as well as performed in various music bands as a vocalist and dancer. I moved to Catalonia, Spain, over four years ago for an off grid alternative, close to the land lifestyle, on an almond finca. 

I have been writing poetry in English since I could speak at the age of eight and am currently in the process of finishing my first novel. I have always loved writing and have recently started to create watercolour art which I often use with my poetry. 

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