Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Crossing the Causeway


I might get tired of the long commute if I had to do it five days a week, but I rarely ever mind driving to Tampa via the Howard Frankland Causeway across the bay between Pinellas County and Tampa. It is one of the gifts of renewable delight of living in this place.

The water and sky display a fresh mood every day: sometimes morning sunshine bounces off the water in rapid-fire-bursts dazzling the eyes, sometimes the hazy clouds and utterly still water whisper an impressionist painting, and sometimes the wind buffets your vehicle and storm clouds dump torrents of rain backlit by earth splitting lightning so fierce you wonder if you'll make it to the other shore alive.

 On one trip across I was agog over the dazzling sunlight on the water and the clouds just beginning to stack.  So as I drove I groped for paper and pen to blindly scribble and capture the moment:

Crossing the causeway
soldier clouds
line up in formations
many rows deep,
awaiting orders to march across
the sparkling granite bay,
and crunch the waves beneath their boots.


Now, I'm under no delusion that this poem qualifies as "good", but it was the first poem I'd written in many years, I had fun rolling it around on my tongue in the car, and I wanted to capture it.  Joanna has been dazzling me with her poetry of late...stirring up great emotion and wonder in me.  I realize that poetry which stands alone without melody does absolutely nothing for many people, but reading and chewing on good poetry makes me give thanks to God for the wonder of language and emotion and creativity in the same way that standing before a magnificent painting or sculpture does.  "In the image of God, made He them..."

Note 1:  Recently, in a conversation about navigational directions I'd given someone, my husband informed me that the Howard Frankland referred to the bridge and that the term "causeway" was reserved for one of the other highways crossing the bay.  Give up the alliteration in the first poem I've written in....probably decades... and labor to re-write? Nope.

Note 2:  This photo taken 18 months after that drive is a poor substitute for the "granite bay" of that day, but it is at least the same bay. :-)

1 comment:

Amber Cullum said...

A drive across the bay can stir up many emotions that is for sure. I am glad you are writing more.