Memory of Tribes in a Time of Covid

seals can seal the deal
ocean pushing river back
today I bow to a white egret
out of place with Taiichi
blue herons
the wind barely a wave
water like the Mediterranean
dreams of my youth
I think of you

flotsam are sea jellies
broken sea dollars
no sea stars near
yet this beach is Siletz
Alse tribe forever ingrained
we are temporary holders
good sage cleaning all
the ancestors ask

we have good hearts
no matter the chaos of modernity
our hopes are silent, whispered
the fabric of life being a game
pegging and flipping over
Aces and Jacks, the knobs have it

the peaceful oyster and clam people
threw smooth agates against leather
their games too are here
we just have to listen hard
between the roar of Pacific
pulsing, the home we call sanctuary
slipping slowly on sand
the river taking us all back
into a time of forever

Paul Haeder's new bio is about suspending all those credentials, all those titles, all those in-the-trench experiences he's acquired and worked hard on in his 64 years (2021): Novelist, essayist, journalist, social worker, college and K12 educator, environmental warrior. Terms and avocations more meaningless as cancel culture rises and rises from left and right insanity. Paul's book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years (now going on 16 years) of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. Read his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.