Sandra Noel, Hawk Land
HAWK LAND, Sandra Noel. Middle Creek Publishing & Audio, 9167 Pueblo Mountain Park Road, Beulah, CO 81023, 85 pages, $18 paper, www.middlecreekpublishing.com.
Sandra Noel is a Marine Biologist and the current poet laureate of Vashon Island. I read Hawk Land last year and wrote a cover blurb for it. This year I read the book itself and am in awe of Noel’s steady adoration of the natural world. If you look at her design website, you get a sense of why birds and water play such a prominent role in her poems. Her publisher, Middle Creek, is all about “The Literature of Human Ecology.” And in her bio notes, you learn that Noel is a dedicated meditator, with poems in journals such as Buddhist Poetry Review.
The poems in this book, too, are meditations:
Space Cannot be Punctured by an Arrow
After many hours on the cushion
thinking about these words
on the drive home
waiting for the ferry.
Noel’s “reverence for nature illustrates the power of place [and] the power of the sacred in nature” advises a cover blurb from David Anthony Martin. Reading these poems, you, too, are out for your morning run, witnessing, lamenting, grateful.
I Heard a Small Stream
I heard a small stream singing
its culverted and corrupted waters
frothed with phosphate
from a nearby field
still, it carried on
a joyful rhythmic cacophony
rolling over small stones and debris
following the sounds of seabirds.
We feed it our poisons or dam its courses
but if there is the smallest breach
it will break through and run.
Once a great mountain not too far from here
erupted and buried a river
under hundreds of feet of earth
but in less time than you can imagine
its waters carved a meandering path
that wore a way through.
I want to be water
and find my way again
winding and flowing
through and over obstacles
pouring out all I am into a vast sea
letting go at last.
A beautiful meditation.
Thank you for reading — and commenting.