orcas island.

FINALLY I'm getting around to posting about the San Juan Islands. If you're not familiar, they're this gorgeous archipelago in northwest Washington, very much a retreat from the mainland. To get a sense for what it was like, on the morning ferry I took to get to Orcas Island, there was a thick fog off the shore of the mainland. But after about 20 minutes, the boat passed through the fog, and it felt like we had crossed onto another side.

I did a lot of exploring for the two days I was there [shoutout to my host Vicki for the awesome suggestions!]. There's a lot of gorgeous art & pottery on the islands, plus some cool history [the Moran Mansion on Orcas was founded by Robert Moran, a big shot Seattleite at the turn of the 20th Century] & simply amazing vistas. I did some hiking, some reading, & a lot of writing, including this poem below!

I'm posting this from a coffee shop in Vancouver, where I've been the past few days. I'll share about my time in Canada tomorrow or Saturday...and then it's Montana, which I'm SO pumped for!! 


cocoon song

i should have moved on by now
 i'm not properly recovering
  at least, not as lichen covers
   fallen trunks
    in a pine tree forest
     gently, completely, & with grace
      a blanket of soft green
       aka nature's version of
        giving the dead
         some privacy.

i'm still recovering, & lichen
 will not do; perhaps
  when i metamorphosize
   i'll become a termite
    no, that neither
     i couldn't bear
      having the pulp
       inside my insect body again
        my stomach lacks the necessary
         resilience.

i never sensed the revolutions
 of the earth before now
  when i'm stuck
   perhps trying to chop
    vegetables or dust
     the bookshelf & i notice
      the cucumbers, the dictionary
       they have shifted positions
        thousands of miles away
         & i just want everything to be as it was.

i only take comfort in walking the woods
 perhaps i'll metamorphosize into
  a centipede, so
   one hundred feet on one hundred legs
    can touch the pine needles & reacquaint
     my exoskeleton
      with a universal truth
       that i seem to have forgotten...
        i do this now, as my memory
         has become voluntarily selective.

i should have moved on from this part by now
 but in this liminal state
  i am slower, clumsieroops
   see? my foot brushes
    against a pine cone
     which tumbles off the trail
      & for the first time, i notice
       the stream below & i see
        a sharp flash of sun
         cut through the haze.

a drove of dragonflies scatter
 along the banks
  i decide
   i will metamorphosize
    this is what i want to become
     long & omnidirectional
      as one scoops up water
       i notice the rocky bed
        i see the rushing water
         through my cocoon.

i imagine returning
 here, to this place
  in many moons
   perhaps as an old man
    perhaps as a dragonfly
     i'll notice the rocks have been worn down
      by the relentless water
       i'll see the bottom of the mountain stream
        flat as a young horizon
         i will smile then, i imagine.


orcas island

and some San Juan Island too