Postcards to water

I have, once again, been participating in the August poetry postcard project, which has been a good way to get back in the swing of writing after a long separation.   As I’ve looked back at many of these poems, I see the theme of water emerging, and am reminded of the poems I wrote years ago, before graduate school–poems that were engaged in the tapestry of the larger environment.  I have always been connected to the natural world, from my earliest memory through all of my years living in cities.  Now that I live within walking distance of a large body of water, I am once again connected to this element in a visceral, daily way.  I think about environmental disasters through the lens of waterways.  I have found, I think, a new project.

These poems are the beginnings of many different thoughts about water, and I am certain that my form will change as I begin to develop this new series of poems.  I feel more alive already.  Here are a few poems:

1.

Under the surface,

suffocation and a disorienting

bloom slick —

Its blinding magnitude

.   commands attention, predicts

a belly-up despair

.   that will shape our vision,

our coastlines, our fears —

A chorus of turtles singing —

2.

Before the water came, they ate —

Before the river filled to

overflowing — Before the slicks

clogged the drains — Before

the fire and the wind, they

sat together to share stories

and food,      laughter and

silence —

3.

This morning, the sound of

rain rouses me long after I

have turned off the alarm —

my body settles joyfully,

knowing that I do not

have to haul buckets

to nourish thirsty plants —

the preciousness of water

so apparent —

4.

We call ourselves

into light, out of

madness and ambivalence —

language sings us

full, the sea swelling

our lungs, priming

us to speak —

5.

Recall how reliably

we can describe

the wind, the rain,

fear on the tongue —

before the oil, before

the storm —

before words form —

6.

This is a gift, this droplet

in a bowl, this cup

of tea to warm you, this

sea inlet filling and emptying —

respiration of water-laden

particles, light descending

down and down into our

cells — the places we meld together —

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