It is still Friday and not too late for a entry for Poetry Friday. This one is dated January 1, 2000. I was in Daytona Beach at a meeting of the Administrative Board, ELMC, of the National Council of Churches of Christ USA. These were good meetings, rich with meaning and friendships; I spent a great deal of time looking out to sea, thinking about life and work. This poem emerged in that context. I found it recently and like it; so, I share it.
Daytona Beach, Tuesday, 1/11/2000
I have been reflecting on birds, specifically sea birds.
How to a large extent and with some lovely variations, they all look the same.
A few browns ones stuck here and there in the midst of all the black and white plumage;
even so, large or small, pretty much the same.
I’ve noticed how, for the most part, they stay fairly close together,
allowing for space and, for the most part,
seem to ignore the other birds around them;
perhaps, it is pretty congenial—
although this morning I watched one work hard and nastily
at staking out territory.
I’ve noticed that, for the most part, they are pretty quiet
—a few screeches—
but unless something riles them, it stays pretty solemn.
They also don’t move out of the shallows—
running in and out according to the tide and surf,
not really going anywhere; a
few venture out in the deep,
and the pelicans don’t hang around them,
but for the most part they keep their asses dry.
The most impressive observation, to me, is
that they all stand pretty much facing the land,
looking away from the dangerous beauty of the ocean behind them,
away from the deep.
Diagonal to the sun.
I have been reflecting on congregations this morning.