Friday, March 26, 2010

The Turtle - March 26, 2010

breaks from the blue-black

skin of the water...

to dig with her ungainly feet

a nest...

and you think

of her patience, her fortitude,

her determination to complete

what she was born to do-

and then you realize a greater thing-

she doesn't consider

what she was born to do.

She's only filled

with an old blind wish.

It isn't even hers but came to her

in the rain or the soft wind,

which is a gate through which her life keeps walking.

she can't see

herself apart from the rest of the world

or the world from what she must do

every spring.

Crawling up the high hill,

luminous under the sand that has packed against her skin.

she doesn't dream

she knows

she is a part of the pond she lives in,

the tall trees are her children,

the birds that swim above her

are tied to her by an unbreakable string.

This is the first poem where clearly the title is also part of the poem as it starts off the first stanza. So too we humans are not separate from pond, tree, and bird, but are part of the poem of life, and always part of the action. It is only our lovely brain that is lured into the false thinking of disconnection and breakable bonds. Yet even this false thinking is life coming to us through our lost hominid lines. Our mulling and mucking around in the mud of our daily lives is the turtle crawling through the mud to lay her eggs. Each thought of ours goes into the earth , commanded to give birth to whatever comes next. The trees are no less our siblings because we have a brain. Why should we be fearful and sing like the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz, "If I only didn't have a brain." Instead our brain is always telling us, "there's no place like home."


  1. From T - I don't think I am fearful of my brain, but I am certainly annoyed by it, and often! My particular brain is very unbalanced, leaning way over to the analytical side. This poem reminds me of one of my missions, which is try to find my intuition again. I have misplaced it. (I don't mean to suggest that my intuition and the turtle's instincts are identical qualities - just that the poem is a reminder to me that I need to re-locate it.)

  2. I think it has all been said by the two of you. I sensed that there was an urgency and the turtle was being driven by instinct that MUST happen now. As a younger person I let myself get caught up in urgency. Since I have lived here in High Springs I have been a bit more laid back.

  3. What is the turtle's "old blind wish"?