Monday, September 15, 2014

The Laguna poem - Revised and Expanded

In honor of my friend Paula Koneazny, I'm continuing work on a long poem I am writing about The Laguna de Santa Rosa which she had greatly helped me on.  There is still much work to be done on the poem, but here is the draft of a new section I've written to add to it today:

Marine Mammals of the Northwestern Coast of North America, 1874

The whaling captain Charles Scammon left
the ragged, rocky cliffs of Maine's coast for
San Francisco in 1849.  He led many whaling expeditions
But what those large bodies lent instead of
flesh and oil was a path to a luminously blue,
Baja Lagoon where the whales stilled their bodies
to give birth.  The first day he arrived
at the open-mouthed bay his heart shifted:
a locked wooden chest left open and bare.
He learned to observe for a different
purpose: not to hunt, but to know
what the dark bodies could spell into him.
When he left that unpredictable sea to write
it all down he settled with his son on the edge
of the Laguna where the sea still speaks
in susurrations of muted fog.

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