Monday, August 2, 2021

Diminished Glory


Diminished glory, but glory
nevertheless, sun rising behind the hills 
on a deserted and shining shore,
waves doing what waves do and have done
eternally, the long, sandy stretch
between headlands and the Wickaninnish Inn,
from which tourists will soon flood out in droves,
leaving their $750 a night rooms
in their yellow rain gear to oh! and ah!
at this place I love so much.

I get to live here, on the margins,
like the skinny, hungry wolves and bears
that pad the edges of our village
in search of food. The bear has
an injured leg, struck by some too-fast
touring car, and left to hobble
until wildlife intervenes, one more
wild thing, snuffed out by
some rushing human,
oblivious to
the suffering being
he left behind.

But still, the heartlift, daily,
at sky, and sea and trees,
the beauty constant, even as
the village grows ever more cluttered
with condos and tourists and cars. I still
can find a forest trail,
commune with the Standing People,
breathe their deep peace.
I still can walk a wild shore,
my soul beating to the rhythm
of the tides.

One of the lucky ones, I live
immersed in nature's wonder
every day,
clinging tightly as a marsupial
to this place
and its endangered splendor.
Even as I watch the forests fall,
making way
under the human footprint's
heavy stride,
it's here, where I belong,
here where my grateful heart
and soul abide.

for Brendan at earthweal: THE ANTHROPOCENE SUBLIME, where he wants us to write of the diminished glory of the places where we live. 


  1. I love your poem so much Sherry. I left a wild place on the edge a few years to come to this crazy over populated spot to be close to my grandkids. They're growing up now and I hardly see them anyway. I miss the wild so much. There is an acute rental shortage right across Australia so moving is pretty much impossible right now. Maybe in 2022 I'll find a way. You're walking the wilderness for me too :) Suzanne of Mapping Uncertainty.

  2. You are a fortunate one, yet no fortune is not spoiled by many degrees by human intrusion ... I love the "yet still" iteration, because it beholds a falling majesty, a memory which the future will deem precious and rare. It's why we keep carrying these bright buckets here ... Good work Sherry - Brendan

  3. The margins are all we have to cling to now, it seems. We must treasure what we have, while we work to make it larger.

  4. You are lucky to live in your place of heart and I am elated that you still see and feel the beauty of your surroundings. It must be difficult to live in a place of heavy tourism. I feel people come and go and lack respect for the land and the people who live there year round.

    Oh, I feel for the bear…. So sad…

  5. You've captured here the difference between tourism and really knowing and loving a place. Tourism doesn't really offer any insight into the magic of any place. I have felt this keenly in many of the places I have lived. There is such a thing as respectful tourism, but more respectful still is to pause and breathe with the trees, and feel with the animals all the sadness at our destruction of their natural habitat.


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