Blue Ocean Institute

The Blue Ocean Institute works to create a new relationship between us and the ocean...before it is too late (which even the staid Financial Times writes about). They do so by using science, art and literature to create a new ethic where we understand how vital the blue planet is to our past, present and future.

[Most photos courtesy of NOAA.]

Since the ocean contains 97 percent of the earth's water, we should be careful about how we use it. The Blue Ocean Institute understands that and I wish them great success.

They are accepting sea story submissions from anyone who loves the sea. Here are a few poems I've written over the years with a sea theme that I sent. For my children's children, I'm very glad they are trying to change public policy to reflect the importance of the ocean and marine life.

When Fish Cry

Who hears the fish when they cry?
Henry David Thoreau

This stream,
which space families will need

as they populate galaxies past our knowing,
feeds a river with hundreds of thousands
of its brothers and sisters

and an ocean
that is so vast
we will know galaxies
before we will know its mysteries
is home, to fish,
so many fish
as there may be stars
in not just our galaxy,
but all the galaxies we will know.

When fish cry,
we should weep
for the galaxies
and the children
we�ll never know.

The Return

The land beacons
with fruit and wheat
and wildlife abundant,
so I crawl from the sea,
seaweed draped and brine
permeated to the shoreline.

And I am one now,
my mother and family
are close by laughing
and the waves beat
their eternal rhythm softly,
faintly familiar but forgotten
because there is so much
between now and the return.

The football flies high above
the waves, drops back,
drops to a friend now laughing
by the waves until it lands
by a girl I've been watching
for hours who reciprocates
with a hair toss and shy smile,
and the din of the ocean
is silent for some years.
For a time, there is so much
to be done on dry land.

One day my own baby
is on my shoulders
frightened by the waves
and their ultimate calling.
I laugh at him, of course,
confident after so many years
with the sea and its waves
that I've mastered them,
felt their power and captured it,
taken it on and rechannelled it
to a life beyond these shores.

The land that beckoned
so many years ago
kept its promise.
It gave me the means
to support a growing family.
Good and sweet
foodstuffs abundant.
Clean, clear water,
even in cities, and shelter
from all but the fiercest storms
that claimed many far away
but left us safe and dry
at higher land elevations.

Now...this wheel chair
and these grandchildren
and great grandchildren.
If I could only tell them
of that journey from the sea
and all the lands between,
the seascape and landscape
and each is so dependent
on the other for life.
Of how the shoreline
is the altar upon which
the inner life should know
how tenacious and beautiful
and brief this life on dry land
looks when the sea beacons
like the ocean waves, at this end.

They show me the baby
and I hope I can recognize him.
I wish my body still answered
my thoughts, but we both know
it can never be so again.

I hear the waves clearly, though.
Through it all, the years and cities,
wars and the news media drumbeat
into my head, all spread before me
as on a screen, I still hear the waves.
My family looks at me with such
concern and pity, but it is not the time
or place for pity. I hear the waves
on the shore...WWOOOOOSHSHSH...

I hear their tender and light-filled call,
and I surrender...I surrender.
From the time I crawled from the sea
they've been calling me to them again.
No more crawling inland...
...it is time to answer the sea?s call..
it is time to return..

Fenwick Island, DE
June 19, 1997

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