I've been on a cruise ship for the past week. I walked up a waterfall with fast streaming water flowing downward, holding the hands of complete strangers helping me not fall onto slippery rocks.
I've seen goats running around the Jamaica green jungle. A very controlled and well-trained dolphin kissed me on the cheek and let me kiss it. A very thick-lipped and sunburnt-skinned Australian captain let me jump into a sea full of large wild sting-rays while a woman screamed. They streamed through the water like huge, black capes, their width the length of me. I did not stay long in that water, even though it was gorgeous tourmalined in color. My skin got so burned there were little raised bumps all over my chest. The ocean was a constant motion, small waves combining with themselves to form bigger waves that rolled and rolled. Small nearly see-through flying fish rode above the waves far longer than I thought possible. And at 2:30 in the morning, the ship would cavitate and my whole body felt like it was threaded through some giant hook, streaming underneath the water. It was nice to go away and it is nice to be back.
I have a poem here in the whimsical Arsenic Lobster Poetry Review. I'm sharing poetry space with some of my favorite poets, all incredibly talented, such as D.M. Aderibigbe, Karen J Weyant, Jill Khoury and others.
I finished reading State of Wonder which was quite fitting for a cruise. Lots of surprises. Today I'm just blah, doing loads of laundry and wandering aimlessly around the house.
A moment for a painting: crisp, clean
snow sparking over hill and hollow,
barest green halo hovering above branches.
Taiga: the word smells fresh, unstained.
Gone are the long nights—woman, bottle, knife,
each good company in her own way—
swept clear by green noise.
Up front the driver tightens a wire in the engine.
Satisfying, these small victories:
the engine's rev, the road's drag,
the marking of another spring—
as if it were an easy thing.
As if any of it were easy.
Just ask the river ice, keening now
over the carcass of her rank,
Katherine E. Young