Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

Paddling upward through layers of sand
with no knowledge of where to,                                     
crazed, or mightily faithful,
I don’t know and I refuse to judge
these hundreds of tiny flippers
in a frenzy to meet the Great Mystery,
and possibly their death, imminently.
I prefer to crouch here in awe.
What they don’t know, I know:
Ghost crabs, raccoons, birds, big birds,
fish, big fish. They, many of these
little naïve ancient ones, will be snacked upon
like salted popcorn. Nab, swallow, and gone
from this world they barely entered
and could not name.
Look how they rush to their destiny,
risking everything because that’s
what it is to live, though, yes, that’s the terrible secret
that we keep shushing back into the underworld,
and look how they, bellies skidding, go forward to reach
the one world they are made for, and how,
like an equal lover, that world, that mighty crashing world,
is reaching back to them in waves. And, they are met.


Isn’t this what you want?
The perfect fit. The equal lover. 

These precious scrambling things have got it right.
Standing in the sea oat-waving dunes, I’m absolutely sure of it.

How can the body, this body, any body
refuse to take the risk to rise?

© 2013-2018/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Wild Life: New and Selected Poems" (www.hiraethpress.com)

Photo taken in 1985 while working with the Caretta Research Project on Wassaw Island, off the coast of Savannah, Georgia - the morning I first observed the emergence of nestling loggerhead sea turtles. Unforgettable.

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  1. You have captured the miracle of the loggerheads' emergence and headlong charge toward the ocean. I have witnessed on our island, where we get 30 or more nests each year. True, only a few will reach maturity, but we care for each egg and each hatchling, and stay around till all are safely at sea. We do what we can. Thanks for the lovely depiction.

    1. Thank you for you kind words...and for tending the turtles.