Sea Change: A Response

This, my first post, is something that I originally wrote a few months ago in response to the poem “Sea Change” by Jorie Graham. It’s an interesting poem in it’s style but it paints a clear picture and encourages us to look beyond what we see. If you haven’t read it, please see the link attached here. I highly recommend reading this evocative piece.

“The permanent is ebbing.” There’s a quaint little cottage on the cliff by the sea with faded yellow paint and white shutters. Abandoned sea shells line the window sill. The shutters bang against the howling wind with no one to come and shut them. The house gazes mournfully at the sea, whose waves crash angrily on the cliffside.

“…the body of the ocean which rises every instant into me…I cannot fail, the Saturday, early pm, hurling myself.” I hurl myself into the waiting abyss and take my last breath of blissful air. The sea embraces my descent, washing away my ignorance. I breathe


Thor’s Well, Oregon; Photo Credit: myself

in, accepting the pain of the watery world, trying to understand the consequences of our careless, greedy actions. My head breaks the surface. When I look around, the clouds of jellyfish are empty grocery bags, the colorful reefs are bits and fragments of hard plastic. The world is dying and we are the virus. How we have remained ignorant to the telling symptoms of our Gaia’s illness? Or have we turned a blind eye all this time, preferring to live in blissful ignorance?

The world as we know it is coming to an end, but not for the Earth itself. She will go on, recovering once we are gone. No, the world of Homo sapiens along with the innocent bystanders of the animal kingdom are being driven into the ground by our selfish actions. Is it too late for us to make enough of a change that we don’t have to see the destruction of innocent life before choking on the gas emissions of our own making?


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