Harper Murray reflects on his POEM FOREST poem.
As a freediver and surfer, I was inspired to write this poem about the experiences I've had with the sea. The feeling of weightlessness and freedom I experience when I'm in the water is something that's difficult to put into words, but I've tried to capture it in this poem. My Maori heritage has also been a huge influence on my life, and I wanted to pay homage to that by incorporating a few Maori words, such as "Manawa Kotahi" which means "One Breath," and personifying the ocean as the god of the sea Tangaroa.
The poem is about letting go, about surrendering control and embracing the present moment, much like the feeling of weightlessness I experience when I'm diving. The metaphor of taking "one breath" is symbolic of this idea. I wanted to explore these themes, as well as my personal connection to the sea through my surfing experiences and my Maori heritage, in this poem. I hope that it inspires others to experience the same sense of freedom and peace that I do when I'm in the water.