Upon the highest cliff something awakes

Below is the turquoise-blue ocean glare

While the sun reflects on its silent waves

A butterfly rises up in thin air


My wings felt the warmth of a cloudless sky

I breathed the air and found pleasure, yet

My heart was afraid of flying too high

A sudden descent and I became wet


I saw myself sinking relentlessly

Into the depths of the darkest ocean

Radiant sun and blue faded callously

As I sank with vertiginous motion


A butterfly turned into a falling rock

Could I possibly change my destiny

Could I ever recover from this shock

Or stay in the dark, its immensity


Direful sinking, the dark blue around

Yet looking up, the sight of turquoise-blue

And sunrays despite a fall, that profound

Spoke of the anchors I could hold on to


My arms and legs started to swim upward

A rapid ascent as its previous fall

Reached the surface of the sea so awkward

And saw myself at peace as I recall


Across the ocean so confidently

I swam and could have even sailed a boat

Looked at the world with some complacency

The butterfly can fly, I am afloat


© October 2018 Marta Pombo Sallés


Listen to this poem:

This poem has been partially inspired by the following video:

(view original post)

80 thoughts on “Afloat

      1. Thank you again, Bill, for such wonderful appraisal. I am humbled. The fact is I am not aware of my writing and of what effect it might cause on others. What I create feels strange to me as English is also a foreign language. Instead, it feels easy for me to perceive and internalize what other people write and create because I love literature and arts as well as reviewing.


  1. Oh such a treat for on a Sunday morning, a wonderful poem to read, and glorious audio recital to listen to, and an entertaining video to watch, all round a lovely message of hope, and you’ve evoked all of my sense… well done Marta..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Donald. The butterfly displays its wings of hope, yet it has to avoid flying too high. Remember the Greek myth of the Icarus’ flight; the wings made by his father Daedalus melt with the sun and Icarus falls into the deepest ocean. I think this myth was in the back of my mind when I wrote the poem. I also had in mind a poem by Sylvia Plath, “Words”, where a white skull falls into the water and the poet contemplates life “from the bottom of the pool”. Unlike Icarus and Plath the subject of my poem gathers the necessary strength to move up and reach the surface of the water. In doing so, the temporary failure is taken as a life lesson trying to reach balance in life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would like to see the butterfly “climb the thin air”. I like the idea of personifying butterfly by putting human viewpoint to it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely poem Marta!
    It shows resilience. You get knocked down! So what?!
    You get back up!
    It also shows hope. Without hope, all is gone. Hope is what keeps us going! Thinking…’there’s more…keep swimming’

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is such a lovely poem, full of marvelous imagery. I loved it. My own poem about a butterfly pales in comparison. I hope you don’t mind if I share it.


    © 2016 Barbara Grace Lake

    Oh look at me
    I dance on air beneath the sky
    On fragile, airy, cloud-like wings
    Puffed up by winds I cannot see

    Oh look at me
    My wings are colored fibrous light
    That flicker in and out of sight
    Then drift so ever gently down

    Oh look at me
    Reflections of the morning sun
    And ever lofted azure blue
    But seasons I have only one

    Oh look at me.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I can so relate to this poem.
    “The butterfly can fly, I am afloat” says it all – eternal hope that keeps us going against all odds. There may be momentary glitches but as long as we have our sights at the target, we shall rise.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Riffing “Afloat” by Moments

    Even in imaginings, flying eludes,
    especially if shadowing a coast;
    the daring you display exudes,
    my thoughts of flying non plussed.

    I can’t fathom descent near a rim,
    water below, in sight of a shore;
    truth be told, I cannot swim,
    sinking like a rock to ocean floor.

    In my dreams, there is driftwood,
    with many branches, spread wide;
    if it had Spanish moss, I could
    settle horizontal, successfully hide.

    The tides and winds, in my favor,
    the shore line increasingly nearer,
    this is turning into a voyage to savor;
    the here to there, becoming clearer.

    Would’ve been better had I, in advance,
    recalled, moss is an alligator magnet.
    Might I elude then? Not a chance…
    Cute as they are, they won’t make a pet.

    Break a limb for a paddle, ninety degrees,
    up the shoreline, in desperation;
    I am I’ll equipped for life on the seas.
    I do better in a dry land situation.

    If there is one message here for me to get,
    it is, don’t go near air or water without a net.

    Michael Todd (2018)

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I have not posted a poem in my realm, in a full year. That you inspired me to try something speaks volumes… Thank you, kindly. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Would you mind if I was to read your poem aloud to some friends? I would be careful to tell them, at the outset, that you are the writer, and would include you URL to this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, thank you so much, Michael. I am honored. I never thought my humble attempts at writing poetry would be that much appreciated. Of course you can. By the way, I would like to read more of your poems. Where are you in the realms of wordpress?


      1. Wow, I have just read your last poem, “The Wicker Will Leave” and liked it very much for its depth in meaning, the dialogue format, the flow and rhyming. Sometimes rhymes sound artificial, but yours don’t. They sound natural and are beautifully crafted. (just read this one because I’m leaving for work in a few minutes) Thank you so much again for taking your time to read my humble poem. You are a very talented poet.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. When I asked you if I could read this poem to some of my friends, this was what I had in mind. Thank you.–open-mic-poetry-radio-show–call-in

    The show began with Nyla Alisia making announcements, then there is a pre-rocorded piece by Nyla, followed by another pre-recorded piece by Starr Severon, then a live poem from Tammy Jones, and then me…

    My Begin Time : 37:20

    My End Time : 42:40

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello again, Myke! Just read a lovely poem of yours, “The Wicker Will Weave”. This poem is beautifully crafted in content and form, Michael. You describe the end of a love relationship through the thoughts, feelings and reactions of the first person narrator, and also with those of the third person female character. This she-person appears like a ghost in a sort of dialogue with the voice of the poem. I like this literary device very much as well as all the imagery you use; so beautiful, deep and poignant. Also, I love the flow and alternate rhyming structure you use for each character.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, let us see what this new year will bring us. I hope there will be some improvements for humankind. We need to keep up with our non-violent civil resistance movements in each world corner to fight any sort of power abuse.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. You take my breath away, such a talent you have🦋I love this poem. It was so genuine and heartfelting to me. I could feel I recognize myself a little bit in your words🦋
    Thank you for let me read this❤️

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s