Pneuma – a poem by Pamela Porter

cougar photo

In the morning I could find no sign of her
imprinted near the water.

As I slept in a house beside a river,
a cougar came.
And beneath my window, screamed.

Some part of her walked through me
then continued down the hall
toward my children
asleep in their cribs.
Sinew, shoulders, spine, she parted the night.

And claimed us.  And required of us
suffering, and bereavement, and joy.
And sentenced us to live
in immensity’s open mouth.

It is the oldest story.
Something searches for us,
and when it finds our lives,
returns over and over.

I never know when she will arrive
or take her leave.
But like the echo of a prior bell,
she circles inside me,
cold, delicate,
her four paws clotted with darkness


[Pamela Porter is a Governor General Award winning poet living in North Saanich. She has graciously consented to publish this poem on our website. Art and science together bring us into closer relationship with our surroundings.]

L’ARC DE LE PETIT GARROT : A Co-operative 

The arc

The ‘Arc of the Bufflehead’ is a major feature revealing the seasonal progression of productivity at the mouth of Roberts Bay, and through this glorious spell of clear cold weather, it has been the scene of a major feast. It is a Bufflehead Co-operative overseen by a Lord Burgomeister, a kleptoparasite. 

It is a co-operative because the Buffleheads work in a non-stop milling fashion to churn up the kelp detritus from depths beyond the normal diving capacity of individuals ( typically < 3 m over the tide flats). 

The base of the food chain is manifest on the surface by the arc of the slick lines that form ephemerally with the tidal change, as it interacts with the bowl or bathymetry at the mouth of the bay. 

Continue reading