Tami HayPoetry and Prose By Tami Hay, M.A., RMT from All-Creatures.org

In Gratitude to Julia Barnes

Your eyes have seen the world, that’s clear:
A Sea of Life swims within them.
They seem sadder than most young women’s eyes
Because more knowing,
Too keen for those who try
to disguise the truth with bright green lies,
Those who mine the sea—“It’s mine!” they cry—
Under cover of the deep.

You see through their clouds of sediment
and false sentiment
Because you’ve been down there yourself.
You even lost a friend to the sea,
A mentor, who saw beneath the surface as well,
And who left this world through its watery veil.

You say there will always be pauses for tears,
Sometimes a whole ocean’s worth,
But then we must act!
Even if we don’t know how or where.
Just do something, you say, and what to do will become clear.

What is clear is that the sea of life
is being drained of colour,
Trawled out and plated, or left to bleach,
There’s less to see each day, and all the more reason to look—
Look before the truth washes up, all too plainly, on a beach.

Your eyes are a camera to document the truth,
Untangling it from the smothering nets,
So that it can breathe again and gasp
The awful news:
That soon there may be nothing left.

The ocean is growing pale, drowning somehow
in her own element.
Can we save her? By leaving her alone?
Or will we keep pushing her down?

Pushing her down
by letting her rise,
Until, one day,
She stops breathing—
Not just for herself but for us—
And we permanently close our eyes.

© Tami Hay 2023

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