Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Turn of the Tide

I just received this poem from my friend, John Barnett, one of the closest observers of the natural world on the planet. John taught me to sculpt in bronze. His own bronze sculpture, always drawn from the simple and profound beauty of nature -- rocks, tree bark, shells -- is sublime. I have a whole collection of his small drawings of fruit, shells, flowers and feathers -- any small gift of nature, really, that normally falls beneath our notice. In John's hands, they turn into miracles of complexity and beauty. I celebrate the vision of this man who has honored the earth through continual observation and loving emulation and by simply living with such integrity.


the world turns and the moon pulls      the ocean breathes out     holds     breaths in     holds     crows, kingfisher, gulls, osprey, wait     flounder and sole comfortably rest in their watery camouflage sand bed a large shallow tide pool

at the estuary fan of the bay ebb tide turns slack then flood, slack – ebb …

a tell-tail of green seaweed turns with the current
on the utmost tip of the Geo-duck siphon tube above
three feet of neck of the bi-calve mollusk monarch
dug deep the muck

red-rock crab and spider crab join the hermit crab
to play in the sea weed in the slack tide water
then seek protection under a stone when the tide turns     a fathom incoming water covers the tidal flats and fills the bay

a Great Blue Heron croaks an abrupt loud call, flaps its huge wings ungainly and lands on a low cedar branch just above the water

acres of barnacles, clams, chitin, moon snails, muscles, periwinkles, oysters hush all creatures of the sea know the turn of the tide

 jab 2-26-2012

Somewhere on this planet, this very moment, the tide is turning. Hold that thought in your heart and let it empower you, this fine day.

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