Poets of the Monterey Bay
|Four Poems by Debra Spencer
From our tar-roofed classrooms
swoop and bank above the field.
We are weary of schoolwork,
We yearn to lick Creamsicles,
The gulls hover above the handball courts,
we see them dive for food
What makes them leave the sea?
Let us make the long trip inland
where we will watch the children in their cages
Invisible tides pull things to the sea,
The family portrait that sailed on a ship
Those hands that knitted aboard the ship
Oprah Endorses the Ocean
Gazing steadily into the camera, she speaks from the heart. The waves, she says, are cleansing. The sand is a comfort. And then, the sky! Oprah advocates excursions to the beach. She devotes a series of shows to discussions of which beach is best. Coney Island? Malibu? West Palm? All week, expert panels engage in debate, with Oprahs studio audience chiming in. Slowly, the middle of the country empties, as Americans abandon the heartland for the coasts. Department stores report a shortage of bathing suits.
Oprah and her crew embark on visits to major aquariums. America learns to recognize the lantern fish, the deadly sea wasp, and a series of eerie jellies. Oprah visits an artist who turns sand into glass. Oprah tells her audience, You see me through lenses that used to be sand. This makes her feel even more deeply connected to the ocean.
In California, a hundred thousand people arrive at Castle Beach with ice chests, barbecues, sand chairs, giant umbrellas, charcoal briquettes, hot dogs, and sunscreen. Panicked officials call in the National Guard. From East Cliff Drive, news cameras from major networks pan the overflowing trash cans.
Broadcasting now from her mansion in Montecito, Oprah concludes her endorsement
of the ocean. She loves its repetition, its unpredictability, its viciousness,
its sublime caress. The sea is a precious resource, she tells her viewers.
It is the key to life on this planet. She says that visiting
the ocean is fundamental to the health of all human beings. The beach will
heal us, she tells us. Its a good place to be alone.
A Local Habitation
In my ears
Physicists tell us other worlds exist,
We come from wet into light.
an alternate vastness, may discern it