The Idea of Love at Troncones

At Troncones Beach a heron and an egret
Fish together every morning

One white one dark as the other’s shadow
They are bonded by some force or another

As I watch them I wonder if this is love
Of a kind that binds us unknowingly

I once said I love all cats
Though I haven’t met all the world’s cats

I know that I love all horses
Because I’ve never met one I didn’t

So then it’s possible to love
The many through the one or two

So does that mean I can know
The ocean through a single wave

Or that I can love the forest
Through a single tree or even a leaf

For if that’s so
May I love some and not all

May I single out a tree
A cat or a horse to love

And remain indifferent to all
Those who aren’t my type

Can I embrace a vast galaxy
Through a lone bright star

Can I adore all rivers
Through a single ripple

Can I love all birds
Through one small sparrow

Can I cherish all insects
Through a solitary buzzing bee

For if that is so then each of us
Is a portal to love unbounded

And within each of us jostle
Horses, galaxies, rivers and oceans


Poem by Carol Flake Chapman

A former journalist, Carol Flake Chapman returned to poetry, her first love, after the sudden death of her husband on a wild river in Guatemala shattered her world. Poetry, she found, was the language of healing and of ever deeper connection to the natural world, which became her solace.