Ode to the Autumnal Atlantic

Awaken, mother
stir from your slumber
a secret lies in your belly
call to the people
as they come to your shores
for ceremony

do not be still
dance your autumn dance
your elegant chaos
your primordial charm
you, of holy transport

tidal rhythms
move through salted body,
and play with the north wind,
joy oscillates in your expanse
and knows no bounds

your daughters bring to our feet
garlands of tumbling joy,
miracle mountains of sapphire blues
translucent caves, rising from your arms
to meet the sky

you turn men to birds
in flocks they come sit
in your pool of giants
and wait for hollow columns
to swell from your heavy sea

a mystery of rites
the people rise to greet
your gifts of dawn,
to draw ancient shapes
upon your face

and in this season,
we lay in wait for your rage
to wipe our lands of labor,
and drag our shelter
into the mouth of the sea

and through your wrath
teach us what we have forgotten
community, harmony, love
though you may devastate us
we owe you all

our broken homes lay
scattered across your shores
our streets flooded in your moon water
our limbs torn and broken
in efforts to contain your fury

you bring wisdom to our people
elder on the shores of time
fires of youth dance before your watchful gaze
swelling is your truth
that sweet low murmur

ancient one,
we cry mercy from our lips
for we know not what we do
when we lay waste at your shore
and defile your providence

you were the sky, before we had wings
you are the sky, to those who know you well
carrying us, weightless
salt and spirit

-AJ Letterel

AJ is a creative and graduate student living in New York. He currently works for the State University of New York at Old Westbury. Reach AJ at http://www.ajletts.com.