|We highlight fine examples of environmental literature where poetry and prose are skillfully intermingled.|
Night of the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble Performance
Marin Headlands 1998
by Maya Khosla
closed now, a couple walk into the swirl,
The sharps and flats surge out through dark leaves,
The sounds shadow-woven together, stitched,
Web of WaterMaya Khosla's beautiful book, "Web of Water - Life in Redwood Creek" was released June 1997.
Published as a paperback by the Golden Gate National Parks Association, it is available for purchase online here.
The Book contains detailed illustrations by Maryjo Koch, as shown here on the cover.
Golden Gate National Parks Association works with the National
Park Service (NPS) to preserve and enhance the Golden
Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). Maya performed surveys for
the NPS in Redwood Creek, which is located in Muir Woods, just north of
The text of the story is interspersed with related pieces of short prose. For example, we read in Chapter One "A FRAGILE HABITAT":
And in Chapter Three "Thinking like a Fish", Maya vividly describes a fallen tree:
A single dead
A shaft of light cuts straight through the
water - at
available from Maya Khosla:
Read more by Maya Khosla
The Delicate Art of Whale Watching
|Available for purchase online from Amazon, this gentle combination of poetry and prose by Joana McIntyre is a study in slowing modern life down to a more livable pace , The Marine Book & Navigation Center). She talks about tourists coming to Hawai'i to see whales - the kind of whales that only exist in someone's imagination. She describes her life on Lanai'i and how she learned what island living has to teach, the lesson of slowing down to live life. Here are some excerpts I thoroughly appreciated.|
the "The Story of the Whale Watchers", about tourists who
come from far away just to see the whale. She speaks of when they sleep:
While the people were sleeping
listening to the singing
While the people were sleeping
In the morning the maid comes into the room
|Having looked the creature right in the eye, I can relate to what Joana has to say for camera buffs in the Chapter entitled "Looking Again":||I have seen people on a boat, centered in the glowing circle of blue sky, blue sea, and pastel islands for a few precious minutes of their lives, miss all that happened just next to them because the camera had to be wound or the lens wouldn't focus at the right time. So, instead of leaving with something seen fully with eyes open, they have only the frustration of the missed picture, which if achieved, would only have given them a small grey speck on a tiny square of plastic and would never have given the rose-blown memory of whale breathing or the great crash as she plummets back into the sea. The picture would never give them her eye, looking squarely and cleanly into theirs, as creature gazed at creature, companions under the sun.|
|I recommend this excerpt for those who are
squeamish about spiders:
Animals and fish are exquisitely lovely. One day I summoned the courage to handle the dry body of the brown spider lying on my desk; I saw there, almost faded, the delicate beige linings of her markings and the tiny withered dry mouth that once seemed so formidable in my dreams. My first visions of spiders came from comics, rather than from the brown-striped face of the spider. And I feel that the feel of the dead spider in my hand is not much different from a feather; only the idea, the thought of the feel is so disconcerting.
|Be sure to check your library for a copy of
this wonderful book. Or pick one up online from
And finally some wise words on simplicity and thought, especially poignant for intellectuals:
|Althought I cannot say that I saw enough of whales
and porps to offer anything more than a glimpse, what I did see, and still
see, seems to confirm that simplicity. They swim, they they feed, they
bear babies and caress each other, and fill their days and nights with
what looks like love and play. If they think great thoughts, which was
once and idea with much appeal for me, they keep it well hidden. I know
now that thought is a minor and flaccid thing compared with grace of movement
or with love given and received.
|P&P Whales & whale watching links|
RadiKahl Poetry and Prose
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