Ode to the Autumnal Atlantic

Photo by AJ Letts

Photo by AJ Letts

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

communing 

salt and spirit

| Featured in the summer issue, Four Elements, of Tiny Seed Literary Journal. |

AJ Letterel