Greening Water

Period of reconstruction: building new approaches to syllabi for the upcoming semester. At times the process is a tedious chore, a labyrinth of material to (re)examine, (re)analyze, (re)classify—but the monotony is what I enjoy about research and lecture-building. Books, paper, ink, tea, laptop, coffee, drafting, redrafting, more coffee, more reading. Everything, all elements, developing a stage of production towards a transition towards an end-product. Something to hold in the hands.
On my morning walk, I rescued two small box turtles. The first wanderer only needed encouragement, a terse nudge to send him scuttling in the right direction, back to his creek off the walking trail.

Later, I found the second meandering off the edge of the subdivision street, trying to climb over the curb which blocked access to his end goal. As expected, once lifted, he immediately withdrew head and appendages within his green-cobbled shell. Yet, he owned no heft. A feather weight covered in green slime and mud residue. Compact and damp. So easy to damage. A frail tank. On the upper right corner of the casing, a slug coiled, darkly refracting light. Midges circled a halo. When placed by the creek’s perimeter, he hesitated, then shuttled quickly down the banks, leaving a trail of ooze and algae in the greening water.
Briefly I considered translating the above scene into a nature-themed poem, but such themes are hard to manipulate for a wider reading audience. The metaphor becomes too recognizable or the plot-event too common. Although I dabbled with a handful of poetry based solely on a "nature is wonderful" theme, such writing can quickly turn stale if the writer is ready to quickly twist the message towards something else. Of course, some writers such as Elizabeth Bishop, Emily Dickinson, and Mary Oliver can safely navigate such tricky oceans, but for now I am seeking something else.


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