This series celebrates an endangered ancestor, the Green Sea Turtle -- Chelonia mydas, with a poem by E. L. Mayo:
'Supposing all imaginable good
Accessible, and our living eyes could see
Unscalpeled of the gray prenatal film—
Where should we find it, think you? Here at home?
Maeterlinck’s bluebird by the kitchen sink?
Or boding in the light of summer sky
Apocalyptic with the thunderstorm?
Surely some sigh that rises and departs
Departs towards this? Some sensitive pulse in your wrist
Throbs faith at mention of felicity?
But when you hold the delicate fluttering creature,
Dissonance comes, and the thing you held in your hand
Fails like the last cry that the winds take over
Of some lost swimmer swallowed from the eye
In the gray sucking sea’s deformity.
Felicity is not for you and me,
And saying this with quiet level eyes
Calm on each other’s faces, we shall be
Living creatures moving through the dusk,
Distinguishing the sea-gull from the sea.
And we shall view the world with accurate eyes:
The sparrow’s small voice quickened by the rain
The contemplation of the mourning dove’s
Four level tones will speak more nearly to us.
Whit it will be whatever we do or say
We shall not know, nor know the imaged sky
We people with dying memories of the dead,
But confident in knowledge of the black
Rough rocks of this world, we shall keep our eyes
Intent on actual landscapes, and shall keep
Our scrupulous hunger polished like a sword
Until we flesh it in the thing adored.
For Euclid lied, and in this crooked world’s
Cruel political geometry
Only the accurate eye
Agile, intent, patient in one desire
Shall glimpse perched high upon a telegraph wire
The Phoenix and the Turtle of content.' ~ "The Phoenix And The Turtle" by Edward Leslie Mayo, 1939.