Aground

She rests
Amidst the marshy grasses
Dreaming
Days plying the island routes
Wind and wave lifting
Lost in time,

She danced
Sea spray lacing her bow
Sailing
Her paint fresh against the waves
Chasing lightly the seals
Her frothy road guiding,

She felt
Her Master’s hand
Guiding
Firm upon the wheel
His voice next to God
Sending deck hands leaping,

She labors
Fishing or cargo and passengers hauling
Serving
Racing rising storm
To best the wind and drowning waves
For home’s sweet calm,

She rests
Amidst the marshy grasses
Dreaming
Days plying the island routes
Battered but harbor safe
Lost in time.

© 2019 Maggie Grimes

The painting and poem are inspired by a photo taken by Liam McNamara. The poet in me saw no defeat in the boat, battered though she was. I wish I could have done greater justice to his photo. MJG

Siren

I walked quiet fields alone,
Heard the earth growing
Felt her calling,
Calling me to sow with love
And reap her joy,
The air was heated with her breath,

But I am born of the sea
The peace of earth is not mine,
The sea’s unnamed longing sends me seeking
A quest for islands dreaming in the sun,
The children of the sea my only brothers,
My only home, the sea,

Passion, storm, a sea bird calling.

©2019 Maggie Grimes

Manannan’s Children

Tonight I am free
Taking flight on night dark wings
No shackles of thought holding me,
The winds call
Awakening the slumbering magic
Stirring the old wildness,
I hear the murmurings
As strange forces whisper
And the sea summons the storm,

Come my children
Come be free with me,
I am drunk with power
Filled with ancient secrets
And dreamed memories,
Sea magic fierce and wild
Magic of forgotten lands
Guided by unknown stars
Loved by one sea,

Wild magic
Living magic
Held by the sea.

©2019 Maggie Grimes

I hear Manannan’s voice calling in calm seas or in storm. It draws me to the ocean in wonder, to study, to play, to learn. It is irresistible. MJG

James – Santiago

Palo santo struggling to bloom
In the sun and dry,
The sea surges to fill the grotto
Lacing the ebon lava,
The fur seals greet each stranger
Secure in their pacific home.

© 2019 Maggie Grimes

Because humans were so late to the Galapagos, most of the animals are unafraid of human contact. Unfortunately, the fur seal had been hunted almost to extinction. On land they were very shy but in the water it was a different story. They seemed to enjoy swimming with human companions, inviting games of chase, peer into the face mask, tug the flipper. The sheer exhuberance as the sea washed us into the grotto and out again was breath taking. MJG

Bartolome

Rising to tear the sky
Toothed craters tower
Climbing to touch the sun,
Emptiness in your plains
Barren of all save thought
Necklaced by the emerald sea,
The sun devils laugh
In the searing sky
While an old man broods upon the rock.

© 2019 Maggie Grimes

I was snorkling in the cove by Pinnacle Rock. I noticed that from that angle, it looked like a churchman in full regalia. MJG

The Dolphin

Wave dancer
Teasing with sensuous grace
Delighted to entice,
The dolphin comes

Sea runner
Exploring sunken secrets
Excited with wonder,
The dolphin leaps

Ocean child
Content in wild innocence
Happy in sweet freedom,
The dolphin plays.

© 2019 Maggie Grimes

Wisdom

In bitter sorrow
I walked beside the sea,
Felt the guttural roaring of the waves
Raging against the sand,
Trapped and lost
Feeling squandered in futility
Tattered sea foam blowing on the shore,
Dry and dying it sinks into the sand
Deep it reaches to find its level
Then in finding is drawn back,
Back to become part of the sea,
In awe of the sea foam’s wisdom
I felt laughter bubbling in my throat
And I, too, turned again home.

© 2019 Maggie Grimes

This, I think, is my Celtic nature. I may lose some battles and that hurts. But then I remember that I am still here and there is still joy. That’s the greater victory. MJG

South Plaza

Sweet jewel of sunlit rock
Abounding in life,
Burnt rubies on your rocks
Pink marble, gift of the sealions,
Busy, always busy
Terns and petrels, dark motes against the sea,
Swallow tail gulls, drifting on wings of wind
Great frigates lurking above,
The business of birthing at hand
Leaving infants crying in new found freedom,
Red and golden dragons welcome all who come.

© 2019 Maggie Grimes

Fernandina

Black lava painted with verdant mangroves
The jealous sealions guard their sapphire pools,
Clumsy cormorants tender in love
Share their gifts of the sea,
Yellow sparks of warbler
Dance among the trees,
Tiny dragons dream upon the rocks
Ageless, asleep in the dying sun.

© 2019 Maggie Grimes

As a biology teacher I have to be honest. Fernandina doesn’t have saddleback tortoises like the one in the painting. That’s actually Lonesome George who was the last survivor of the Pinta tortoises. Gone now, too. I never wrote a poem about Pinta but I think I saw George at the research center on Santa Cruz. He deserves to be remembered. MJG

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