a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
and plotted out the stars and the planets,
bus the tables and sweep the floors for those
who flock here in droves to this now ruined beach
where turtles used to nest.
Now, in empty flattery, this once immense
and empty space is crammed
with these hotels in tributary shapes
of Chichen-Itzá and its pyramids.
I cannot atone;
but what I do is this:
in memory of turtles who
for centuries and more
had spawned here and now are gone —
chased by lights and crowds and poachers —
I build, out of the sand that is so pliable
that their shapes can easily be held there,
tiny turtles, rushing toward the sea,
replacing those the concrete palaces
have driven from these shores.
Peter O’Malley holds BA and MA degrees in English Literature (from Montclair State College and Drew University), and a JD degree (from Rutgers University Law School). He lives in Oakland, New Jersey, with his wife, Carol Ciancia. In addition to prior appearances in About Place, he has had poems published in Inkwell; The Aurorean; Aleola; The Wayfarer, among others. He also maintains a web journal at Hawkfell.blogspot.com.