“Portal” by Deb Cook

We arrive together

at this threshold,

known yet unfamiliar.

Solitary on the journey

yet navigating forward, together,

echoes of distant summoning lingers…

Pathways, landscapes, feeding, greeting.

Rituals of generations

arriving, calling, breeding, leaving.


What do we know as our own?

or do we simply recognize the whispers

of blessings carried along by the breeze?


Shall we dive now

beneath the currents that faithfully mark our days and nights

to feel our own way portal to portal

or shall we yield and listen and stay afloat?


Now, we attend to the flow that is

deeper than recognition,

clearer even than the morning’s song,

stronger even than the forces

that so kindly welcomed our return.


Photo by Deb Cook, Bells Neck Preserve, Harwich, MA, 4.18.21

Note: This poem came to me from a morning of spring birding on Cape Cod, my ancestral home. It speaks to me of those moments when we notice an opening, an invitation, that is both real and might be quite fleeting. In this moment, it was the reflected light and the birds that spoke to me of the possibilities of a new season. There are other moments we now face, that may indeed, be fleeting. How do we move forward and heal from the myriad traumas of the pandemic? And from the tragedy and truth of our country’s systemic racism? How do we collectively change our behaviors enough to slow the pace of climate change? How do we each move forward, on any day, in that moment when we see an opening?

One Reply to ““Portal” by Deb Cook”

  1. Beautiful imagery and words evoking the mysteries of this moment “flow deeper that is deeper than the recognition.”

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