The morning was indistinguishable from so many others. Lorenz was taking his morning walk around the pond or lake, it was of that intermediate size that could be either or neither, when in a break with his habit, he sat down on one of the four benches, and stared out over the water. He hadn’t seen the usual egrets or herons or ibis, which did strike him as a bit odd since they were as regular in attendance as he was. As he pondered their absence he was startled by what felt like a tickling on his arm. He looked down to find a Painted Lady butterfly perched on his forearm sitting placidly. He stared at what seemed to be the eyes on its wing staring at him. Neither moved, he for fear of dislodging his visitor, the butterfly for its own, undisclosed, unfathomable reasons. This mutual staring continued until time lost its shape, its defintion, and puddled at his feet, no longer mattering at all. But evenutally a breeze came up and it lifted from his arm, flitted about as if in some farewell and was off. He had no idea that moments later the tsunami warning sirens began up and down Fukushima Prefecture in Japan.
For reasons no one can explain,
we have always assumed the gods
of the sea have it in for us,
witness shipwrecks and storms,
and the too occasional tsunami.
We assume they are a petulant lot,
given to fits of pique and with
a means of expression of that pique
certainly denied to mere mortals.
It is why, we only set out to sea
with great trepidation, why we
kiss the shore upon our safe return,
as if to express thanks for not
becoming the sea gods’ latest victim.
We will not admit that their anger
may stem from our rejection,
when we elected, eons ago,
to crawl out of the sea and walk away.