Archives for posts with tag: Oceans

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The Saga of the Sea Turtles Olaf and Elsa
by Howard Richard Debs

You can’t conserve what you haven’t got
Marjory Stoneman Douglas

One hundred million years ago or more
in times before history was ever written
these ancient mariners navigated mother
earth. A 16th century account about the Florida
explorer Ponce de Leon mentions sea turtles.
Eventually many of their kind were turned into soup
at Granday’s Cannery near the foot of Margaret
Street in the Key West Bight. Before the kraals
and the nets and the pegging with small harpoons,
turtle-turning was the technique of choice. Green,
hawksbill, loggerhead, none of their sisters or
bothers had a chance. This was long before they
were declared endangered. Soon enough the
pleasure boats and the plastic took their toll.
Olaf and Elsa were victims too, but were rescued
by biologists in the winter of 2014. During one of many
visits to Loggerhead Marinelife Center, we found out they
were there and as their grandfather I was very proud of
my then six year old twins for asking what they could do,
so Kady adopted Elsa and Mady adopted Olaf. They
watched over them via the “Turtlecam” most every day.
Finally in spring 2015 the notice came: “Thanks to the care
provided through your support, Olaf and Elsa are ready
to go out in the world again” each now sporting a tag to
transmit their whereabouts via satellite so we and the scientists
could follow along for as much as a year, depending on the battery.
Olaf spent some time in the St. Lucie River, then headed north in the
Intracoastal with its high boat traffic, thankfully exiting by way of
the Fort Pierce Inlet to the Atlantic. He continued to swim northward,
before heading back into the Indian River near the Archie Carr National
Wildlife Refuge. After three months there were no more transmissions.
His antenna tag may have been damaged. We followed Elsa in her travels
far and wide. She began migrating south off the coast of Key Largo
in warm shallow waters. Within less than a month Elsa traveled
357 miles to the Marquesas Keys known as loggerhead foraging
ground, likely in good company. But she left the Keys and entered
the Gulf of Mexico showing up south of Marco Island in water
about 25 feet deep, then she continued to swim west passed
the continental shelf in waters that reach a depth of at least
10,000 feet! Next she headed towards the Texas
coast 280 miles east of Brownsville, deciding to go south
to the Yucatan Peninsula to forage off the coast of
Campeche Mexico, getting food and starting to store up reserves
for a journey to the nesting beaches. Elsa’s tag transmitted for
182 days, recording a total distance traveled of 2,745 miles.
Sea turtles live an average of 50 years and can have similar
lifespans to humans. Our family likes to think Olaf and Elsa now
have families of their own swimming out there somewhere; when
I think about the sea turtles I think about the classic 1970
Earth Day poster framed on a wall in my office as a reminder,
cartoonist Walt Kelly’s famed Pogo character
proclaiming: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

PHOTO: Sea Turtle by Randall Ruiz on Unsplash

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Biodiversity is a key barometer for the earth’s condition. As an amateur lepidopterist and long-time member of the North American Butterfly Association I have participated in a number of “butterfly counts,” the results of many sadly point in the wrong direction. As my eldest granddaughter Allison might point out—she’s studying at the University of Florida to become a veterinarian specializing in conservation, bees being her particular interest—there are numerous ways to help. Consider donating your time and, if you can, your dollars to one of these worthy organizations: The State of the World’s Sea Turtles, Loggerhead Marinelife Center, World Wildlife Fund.

PHOTOS: “Release Day” photos of Olaf and Elsa.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Howard Richard Debs is a recipient of the 2015 Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Awards. His essays, fiction, and poetry appear internationally in numerous publications. His photography is featured in select publications, including in Rattle online as “Ekphrastic Challenge” artist and guest editor. His book Gallery: A Collection of Pictures and Words (Scarlet Leaf Publishing), is the recipient of a 2017 Best Book Award and 2018 Book Excellence Award. His latest work  Political (Cyberwit) is the 2021 American Writing Awards winner in poetry. He is co-editor of New Voices: Contemporary Writers Confronting the Holocaust, forthcoming from Vallentine Mitchell of London, publisher of the first English language edition of the diary of Anne Frank. He is listed in the Poets & Writers Directory.

Water to Water
(an almost found poem)
by Rose Mary Boehm

Experiments showed that human thoughts and intentions
can physically alter the molecular structure of water.
Dr Masuru Emoto

Water covers about 71 per cent of the earth’s surface. Around 60 per cent of the human body is water. Scientists now believe that water has a memory, meaning that what once was seen as a simple commodity has now been closely examined to reveal a mind-blowing truth: Water picks up and stores information from all the places through which it travels, suggesting that everyone is globally connected by the water in the human body. Water retains a memory for approximately 5.6 months. By placing positive intentions into water, we can change our planet’s life.

I sit at the ocean’s edge and let my water connect to the sea,
to the sand, the green growth along the rock cut,
the seagull, the pelicans, the fish, the dog that passes…

I send my thoughts of love and wonder to Fukushima
or Chernobyl perhaps, to the land threatened by the rise
of sea levels, the islands that are evacuating…

Wherever water touches land, where rivers flow,
where lakes and clouds form, where people sicken,
I reach out, screaming silently: let it be true.

PHOTO: Ocean and Sky by Pexels.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I had ‘”met” Dr Masuru Emoto’s work many years ago and was absolutely stunned. In the meantime quite a few scientists have become interested in his discoveries and came to their own, confirming conclusions. And if they’re right, it stands to reason that we can use water as a planetary healing agent. What we need is a change of consciousness and positive intention. We ourselves consist of approximately 60% water, so we can easily commune with our planet which consists of even more. Let’s put our minds to work, we don’t have much time left.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rose Mary Boehm is a German-born British national living and writing in Lima, Peru. Her poetry has been published widely in mostly US poetry reviews (online and print). She was twice nominated for a Pushcart. Her fifth poetry collection, Do Oceans Have Underwater Borders, has just been snapped up by Kelsay Books for publication May/June 2022. Visit her at

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On Bahía Concepción
by Jeff Ewing

A sign rusted to the wall crackles over my shoulder
where I’m waiting for the late stars to appear, raising
the hairs on my arms—electric, the night, this night
when the Sea of Cortés itself lights with the prisoned
charge of life rubbing against the shore it will break on.

On the square of a town walked away from by all but
the least curious, a cannon slick with dew rings under
a storm of butternuts, a wind-driven harvest staining
the sidewalks and car hoods, the time-shedding roofs
of closed storefronts. I will wait there in short sleeves

and pale arms for news of the living. There is a future,
I guess even then, in which others wait for me, in which
the gull-speckled arms of the opposite ocean gather close
handful on handful of penny shells, combed pinnas cocked
in guilty thrall to the wail and shatter of each falling wave.

There is a song on a radio, a window thrown open to let
what’s left of the night air in. Tinny and bone thin, the words
perch one by one on the limbs of the tree domed wide over
me. I am still waiting, as you must soon, when the first of the
storm comes ashore to shake the last of the firmament loose.

PHOTO: Star trails above an empty beach on the Sea of Cortés (Gulf of California), with the town of Loreto, Mexico, glowing in the background.  Photo by Emma Rogers.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jeff Ewing is the author of the poetry collection Wind Apples, published on May 26, 2021 by Terrapin Books, and the short story collection The Middle Ground, published by Into the Void Press. His poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in Crazyhorse, Southwest Review, ZYZZYVA, Willow Springs, Subtropics, Utne Reader, and Cherry Tree, among others. He lives in Sacramento, California, and can be found online at

How to Look at the Sea in Winter
by Massimo Soranzio

How do you look at the sea
when there is nothing to see
but a colourless expanse,
a flat and dull reflection
of a blinding sunless sky?

Will you just sit down and wait
for anything to happen
or anything to appear,
immersing yourself in thoughts
shallow or deep? Will you sleep?

Will you count the infinite
shades of grey, brown, palish green?
Will you close your eyes, content
with feeling a bracing breeze
from the sea, brackish and cold?

Will you imagine the lands
beyond that line you can’t see,
the places you have been to
and more you might have seen
had life not kept you ashore?

Will you choose to sit and look
without actually looking,
combining all your senses,
scanning colours, smells, and sounds,
to find a makeshift summer?

Or will you like what you see,
savour the melancholy
of a dismal empty beach
on a gloomy, cloudy day
and become all romantic?

And if you do get to sleep,
will the sea be in your dreams?
Dreams of mermaids or pirates,
holidays past, summer flings,
your collection of seashells?

Let me tell you what I’ll do:
I will sit on this old chair
someone forgot by the sea,
and I’ll look, I’ll look, I’ll look,
losing myself in the sea.

PHOTO: Adriatic Sea, Northern Italy. Photo by Angelina Soranzio (January 2020).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: There have been long periods, this winter, when due to anti-Covid-19 restrictions we were not allowed to cross the municipal limits of our town. But we were allowed to go out for a walk, so we often went for a stroll along the coast.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Massimo Soranzio is a teacher and translator living on the northern Adriatic coast of Italy. His poems have appeared online and in print in a few anthologies, including Silver Birch Press’s Nancy Drew Anthology. He blogs at, where he wrote mostly about his lockdown for NaPoWriMo, in the month of April 2020.