Diving is not that difficult-

I’ve held onto trickier things
over time than just this breath.

Diving is not what’s difficult,
not that descent into darkness-

it is the light that blinds,
it is the sun that burns.

Diving is not that difficult-

we swim into silence,
current cuts movement,
we make moments of a sunken stillness

and surrender.
There is nothing shocking in surrendering.

It is not diving that is difficult

but climbing back up, breaking out,
letting go of being held, of being weightless.

Diving is not that difficult-

difficult is letting go of the fear
that you’ll have forgotten how to breathe.


All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

Photograph taken of the Haenyeo (female divers) sculpture on Jeju island, South Korea.


  1. Extraordinary. Even now I’m still amazed – at how you can take what you see, know, feel … and weave words such as these! Thank you, this poem is really special and your words are a gift. It goes ‘deep’. Haha, that last phrase I was going to write quite genuinely and then realised it’s like I’m merely playing with words but I do mean it 🙂

    1. Thank you Liz, this was such a personal dive and took some time before it found its form on the page, but like I say- it takes times to trust, to regain that confidence and beak through to catch that much needed breath. I like your phrase 😍🙏☘️

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