Poetry of the Earth

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We circum-navigate an island hemmed in by the sea
Whisked to shore in a frenzy of exploration 
kelp beds squish and pop underfoot.
Old mining camps and lodges left vacant
leave a trace of unsettling mystery, the dying out  
of what was hungered for, the
gold, primal beauty, solitude.
We set shrimp pots, sink halibut hooks, and
listen and wait for whatever arises within us: 
a confession, a joke, a memory, a story until
the rise and clap of blue water rushes up and  
something breaks the surface; we can
feel their pulse and rhythm with our own out-of-tune instrument
and briefly, we are in harmony with that which 
cannot be expressed in mere words and phrases,
like a totem shoreline
or an errant cloud.
 Artful poems can be written here,
beautiful paintings painted.
The scientist can calculate, the surveyor works his logic:
but the enchantment of this day is ours.
In the unbroken chain of eager explorers  
(we are the ecstatics
we claim it as our seeing, our first time, 
our perfect connection 
to the deepest and ever-lasting vibrations of life.
*Location: Knight Island, Prince William Sound, Alaska

0 thoughts on “Poetry of the Earth”

  1. I love this. Especially, I like the clear statement that, however familiar a fish, a place, a sunset, a mountain may be to others, when it becomes our experience, nothing should diminish our joy.

    I like the feel of conversation and observation bubbling up, too. This is no cocktail party, no time for networking, with all its frenetic chatter. It's not often I think of the phrase or the experience: "companionable silence". But isn't it wonderful when it comes?

  2. Yes, it surely is. Thank you for putting a name to it.
    Last summer we spent 21 days at sea with another couple in a 42' boat…in these situations, "companionable silence" is a necessity.

  3. 'I especially love these lines — "We set shrimp pots, sink halibut hooks, and listen and wait for whatever arises within us" — for the way they seem to encapsulate what's at the heart of this lovely poem.

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Welcome to the creative playground of Image, Sculpture, Verse.  I live in a river town nestled in the Chugach Mountain Range of Southcentral Alaska.



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