What kind of intelligence
is carried by ocean waves?
Surely greater than that of the shark,
or Dungeness crab.
With water from throughout the Pacific,
and beyond, the information carried
might overwhelm a great university,
and certainly a solitary genius.
Why would one not want
to give oneself up to such mastery?
Given the Earth is the planet of water
in this star system, we might ascribe
a level of divinity to the ocean—this ocean.
Water has other godly presences, but my belief
in the Pacific is unquestioned. If ever I achieved
sainthood, I would want my halo
to be both salty and wet.
James Bertolino’s poetry has been appearing internationally in books, magazines and anthologies for over 40 years. His first book was published in 1968, and Every Wound Has A Rhythm was published in 2012 by World Enough Writers. His 12th volume, Ravenous Bliss: New and Selected Love Poems, was published in May, 2014 by MoonPath Press. His poetry has been reprinted in 41 anthologies, and four of his 12 volumes have come from publishing programs associated with Brown University, Cornell University, Princeton University and Carnegie Mellon University. He retired in 2006 from a position as Writer in Residence and Chair of Creative Writing at Willamette University in Oregon, and lives on five rural acres with his wife Anita K. Boyle near Bellingham, Washington.