Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More Florida Sunshine

Sunset at Chokoloskee, a small, sleepy "old Florida" island on the edge of the Western Everglades, 10,000 Islands area.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sunshine on My Shoulders

Warm Florida greetings to all. It has been a busy time for this vagabond poet. Writing, of course, but also meandering bay and estuary by kayak and beach and forest on foot trails along the Atlantic coast, into the Keys, and now on the Gulf coast, where I'm making my way slowly northward as the days grow perceptibly longer.
One of the best days so far I spent alone on Cayo Costa, a small barrier isle on the Gulf coast accessible only by boat. I spent the day on the beach writing and bird watching, cloud watching with no one in sight despite the perfectly sunny, warm day. The solitude was refreshing...and inspirational. Hence:
In Order

It is not any memory
of the sea, but the eye—
the eye goes first.
So a sailor’s sailor,
one who has gone round the Horn,
will tell you: the eye goes first.
Where have gone my guiding stars?
Where my albatrosses?
In the footsteps of Darwin
go studious scholars of benthic depths,
of the great pelagic heave,
who report in scientific journals
the news on every shore:
how the eye goes first.
Where have gone my pristine waters?
Where my blue-footed booby?
And the ocean’s poets
from Antarctica to the Gulf of Alaska
as they stroll coast lines in their lines
espy the moon by ebb and neap,
and the next day, night’s dead on the beach.
We write that the eye goes first.
Where have gone my Neptune, my Poseidon?
Where my penguins and puffins?
Death surfs on crushing waves in our poetry;
first the going blind, then the fade of memory.