Friday, December 12, 2008

Everglades Bound

Thick the limestone base
but porous; ancient raindrops
garnered quench all thirst.

This river of grass
harbors pineland keys – soughing
an ocean of wind.


Tomorrow (December 15), my husband Roger and I leave for the winter...heading south once again as snowbirds to warmer climes. As usual, we'll be playing "campground hobos," staying at a number of state and federal campgrounds in Georgia and in the Sunshine State.

But one change in our usual travel routine is in store: The Everglades National Park Artist in Residence in Everglades (AIRIE) program has named me its resident artist for February 2009. The program, which provides an on-site apartment in the heart of the park, offers artists the opportunity to live and work in this unique environment. The poems I hope to complete under this program will contribute to the public understanding and appreciation of Everglades National Park. It is hoped that these works will characterize the Everglades for present and future generations, giving park visitors and the general public an opportunity to see our heritage through the eyes, and ears of the contributing artists. I will have the opportunity to interact with park rangers and give poetry readings during my stay. This is my favorite place on Earth. That I will have unfettered time to write, write, write about it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I’m so grateful to be an AIRIE poet. I'm also grateful that Roger has been so obliging about my two-week disappearing act. He'll be tucked into a lovely little campground on Chokoloskee Island in the Western Everglades ... no doubt reading, reading, reading while I go about a quiet writer's life. Look for updates in future posts.
Meanwhile, it's time to hit the road.