I was unaware that Feb. 2nd was a day of blogging poetry, else I'd have posted something. I was looking around for a slender book of poetry by James Wright which has in it a lovely poem called "The Blessing." While I'm looking for that (still), I'll offer this one from my bachelor's thesis:
In Your Northwest Coast Dream
The moon is a whale's belly
full of salmon, bobbing on waves
that curl and quail overhead. You wake,
pale as a shell on Shoalwater Bay.
Moss dribbles down the altar
where you hold communion with sand,
cup your hands for a chalice
and pray to be born
again a fish from the womb of creation,
pure as the dolphin's song
swelling under your cellist's bow.
You know the words, shape each one
as delicately as the slender stems
of trillium blooming in constellations
Only the tail of the moon
remains now slapping the tide, and so
with one step inland you return
to daylight. Where you walk, cloisters of cedar
stand watch, and the familiar face of Rainier
dissolves in the Pacific night. Under cover
of trees, relieved yet of flesh, you wait
one moment longer, warmed
by the steady breath of ferns
for earth to tell you your name.
And now, a few images to go with the poem:
(left) Northwest Coast depiction of salmon.
This is a picture of Shoalwater Bay in Oregon.
I visited the part in Washington state.
Trillium grandiflorum. It grows all over the northwest coast. If you pick them, they grow no more, so they are delicate in that sense. I like the way they look like stars.