Discalced Carmelite Friars

Province of St. Therese

In the Drink

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
(Psalm 139:7, 9-10)

In the Drink ~


You who tried teaching me to swim, held me close 
basking and sea bathing.
How small my arms were, clasped tightly under your chin against the star-blue eddies.

Was it salt, sunlight, or buoyant effervescences?  For I 
took to all three without knowing such longings.  And like one beguiled by
friendly spirits, let trust weave itself into the coverlet of my heart.  

Thus entranced, your 
buttressing arms fell away as we plunged headlong
into wind-torn sea adventures.  

Your muscle-oared frame moved – sure timbered, sea worthy – with
breath shattering nimbleness.
How swiftly we sailed!  How sweetly we unfurled into water assault!

Skimming – – – – 
Riding carnival waves!  Each wave
glistening with laughter, drenching with delight!


Something like silver petals glide 
back and forth across this turquoise tide. Drowsy waves tug at my
feet, pulling them deeper and deeper

into warm sand.  But I pay no heed to the fluid murmuring.  Off in the distance,
ponderous storm clouds loom above coral banks, their heavy winds
fracturing – darkening – the placid surface.

Beckoning from the [deep] mystic blue waters where twice before, I drowned–almost–You 
taught my heart to spill entreaties in
borrowed island verse—my own sedentary silence 

submerged in a tide no name can employ. 

Forged through fissures of fine salt, 
[unheard, unseen] You’ve poured yourself into empty, 
burning arms.  

Arms that once embraced, and can no longer 
wrap themselves ‘round, 
nor cling to things—or persons gone forever.


I stand at this shores edge, bathed in bright youthful memories.
Memories that form and reveal a fragile nature. Yes. 
This way of communion between us

is Your gift, and I should—tremble inwardly at such knowledge.
Instead, I spend my portion recklessly, with 
abandon, much as little children do 

with their Father.

Written by Hannah De Lisser

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