Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: Up with Fishermen and Birds
Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate
In her recent collection Bog Orchids, Susan Deborah King explores the people and places of her beloved Great Cranberry Island. Today’s poem shows us island life during an early morning in August.
Up with Fishermen and Birds by Susan Deborah King
As first light copies from the sky its pink onto the water, and lobster boats motor out to drop or pull their traps; as they swish deftly the long train of their wakes around buoys bobbing proud, heraldic colors over the sea’s wave-smoothened field; as captains in orange waders stand at the helms, or lower traps over the gunwales, their engines rasping like morning trying to clear its throat; as deer bow in an attitude of worship, into the mist hovering just above the meadow, their backs caught tawny in the rising light; as bees make their gold-gathering rounds of poppies, balm and mallow; as crows harangue each other; as the hummingbird whirrs to probe the fuchsia for its breakfast juice; as the phoebe keeps putting its name before the world, and the morning glory composes itself in the shadows waiting for a spotlight before it blows its horn zenith blue – in this hour, the poet too is at work, alert in her cerulean chair on the porch. Binoculars handy, books stacked around her, she bears witness to the beginning, embellishing the fresh, clean pages of the day with words of praise that we have once again come whole, come new out of the dark, out of the dark.
Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2010 Susan Deborah King. Reprinted from Bog Orchids: Island Poems, Island Institute, 2010, by permission of Susan Deborah King. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-228-8263. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.