By Timothy Murphy
Touch and go. Our Cessna bumped the sand,
thumped its tundra tires,
lifted as if on wires,
banked over ice and rocked its wings to land.
We pitched our camp hard by the Hubbard’s face,
some sixty fathoms tall,
a seven-mile-long wall
seven leagues from Yakutat, our base.
Crack! A blue serac tottered and gave.
Stunned at the water’s edge,
we ﬂed our vantage ledge
like oyster catchers skittering from a wave.
Separation has become my fear.
What was does not console,
what is, is past control—
the disembodiment that looms so near.
Detachment? So an ice cliff by the sea
calves with a seismic crash
of bergy bits and brash,
choking a waterway with its debris.
We clear the neap tide beach of glacial wrack,
pace and mark the ground,
then wave the Cessna round.
Pilot, we bank on you to bear us back.
Source: Poetry (May 2009)
More Poems about Nature
Listening in Deep Space
We've always been out looking for answers,
telling stories about ourselves,
searching for connection, choosing
to send out Stravinsky and whale song,
which, in translation, might very well be
our undoing instead of a welcome.
We launch satellites, probes, telescopes
unfolding like origami, navigating
geomagnetic storms, major disruptions.
At the Equinox
The tide ebbs and reveals orange and purple sea stars.
I have no theory of radiance,
but after rain evaporates
off pine needles, the needles glisten.
In the courtyard, we spot the rising shell of a moon,
More Poems about Religion
Wake up, greet the sun, and pray.
Burn cedar, sweet grass, sage—
sacred herbs to honor the lives we’ve been given,
for we have been gifted these ways since the beginning of time.
Remember, when you step into the arena of your life,
For the Feral Splendor That Remains
sometimes I strain