Usually We Think Nothing Of It
Here’s a sweet sad poem by tenth grader Elise Wing, this year’s high school winner of the Ocean Poetry Contest, sponsored to the California Coastal Commission.
Thoughts We Have Getting out of the Car in Monterey
Night in the Philippines has fallen
and usually we think nothing of it
as we go about
checking our watches and tempers
our laundromat costs and taxes
and our kettles and language
But today is different
today we clamber out of the backseat
and the wind shocks us
the sun is too harsh on the sea
and the sea too wide to look across it
So instead we imagine across it
thinking of the boy
with lips wide and elliptical like banana leaves
as he melts into his hammock
Listening to dogs bark
and cars rattle over the potholes
the rain falling like slashes of black ink
and the neighbors
laughing over the last bowl of squid curry
Our image today is titled “The Heart of Ocean” by 3rd grader Karina He from San Francisco, winner of the Ocean Art Contest in her grade category.
We often read and write poetry as part of our Blue Theology youth mission trips and adult pilgrimages. It opens our hearts to the “Heart of the Ocean.”
Like Elise Wing, when we see the wide ocean, we often think nothing of it, just checking our watches and tempers.
But today might be different.
The ocean is indeed very wide. What do you imagine across it?
(We in California should be grateful for the California Coastal Commission for enforcing our fantastic Coastal Act, coordinating the annual Coastal Cleanup Day, and sponsoring this annual Art and Poetry Contest. Check out their website for all the winners.)