Waking in the Ocean


Illustrated by Ying Wang

What artist hasn’t been awed by nature? What person has never been soothed by a gentle rain on a sunny day? Who has never been humbled by dark waves crashing upon unforgiving rocks during a thunderstorm? Yet, as humanity has technologically advanced we have been propelled further away cognitively from the very earthly environment that produced and sustains us. It seems we are only reminded of our inherent frailty and subjugation during a natural catastrophe, or during a weekend meditation retreat outside the city.

Art and science are the means by which we explore the natural world and elucidate our relationship to it. I say “elucidate” because “return to” suggests that we’ve left, which is contrary to the truth. Our world is always with us; from the spaces we occupy to the food we eat. It permeates our bodies and exerts a force whether we recognize it or not. That force, personified as God by the religious and Science by the rationalists, is loving and hateful, indifferent and involved, all things and no thing. This collection is an ode to that powerful intersection of divine and natural, as viewed from the myriad ways we experience both, in all its beautifully horrible and sublimely wonderful aspects.

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A sea of dark clouds high overhead,
air and water twirling in bed,
torrents of waves rolling up high,
pouring the dark ocean into the sky.


The daisy plays on the hill,
making food in the sun,
taking nourishment at will,
only caring for fun.

But what of blooms
who in darkness live,
towered by tombs
without warmth to give?

“Weep not!” comfort
the Nightly Queens,
who rise in the desert
by their own means.

O’er Vales and Hills

William, where are the daffodils?
Those abundant golden crowds?
That spread beyond the hills,
and dance beneath the clouds?

I’ve yearned for these waves,
through times in dark alleys,
I’ve searched all my graves,
and crossed many valleys.

My feet ache, my hope is dry,
Yet. . .
what do I see on a Monday morn’?
On the highway under the sky,
a tiny daffodil is being born.


Words! Words! Words!

Coconuts, love, participles, it’ll, ;

Hell is made of iron concepts with soft bones.