What Is Your Personal Connection to the Ocean?
–Question posed by the Ocean Conservancy
Birthed out my mother’s small
upside-down chalice of it,
I ran down and down to the Sea
to keep on hearing it waving
without fail, through selfsame
saltwater, the Great Great
Original Heartbeat, a pregnant woman’s
drummed to some billionth power.
—Originally appeared in Canary: Literary Journal of the Environmental Crisis, Autumn 2009
The sound of waves is one of my earliest memories, from my childhood living right on the US Pacific Coast. I have lived most of my life since next to a freshwater sea, Lake Michigan. All lives evolved in/from the water. The bodies of living creatures, even those long adapted to deserts, are mostly water. What does it say about human beings that we have so thoroughly desecrated our own mother’s womb?
Mary Krane Derr is a poet, writer, eco activist, and organic community gardener from Chicago’s South Side. She has published in journals like Many Mountains Moving, Lilliput Review, and Seeding the Snow and anthologies like Hunger Enough: Living Spiritually in a Consumer Society, ed. Nita Penfold (Pudding House). She contributed articles to the African American National Biography (Oxford University Press); and The Polish American Encyclopedia (McFarland).