During my most recent Everglades stay, since I'm an American, I found a little time to shop. In-between the t-shirts and field guides, below the postcards, I discovered a book of poetry by Roger Mitchell. In 2002 he had been one of the artists invited to spend a month in the Park. A requirement of the residency is that you leave something behind. His gift was this collection of poems accompanied by the sketches of Frank Duval, another artist in residence. Here's the beginning of his poem about kayaking on Florida Bay.
"At low tide. There might be an inch between me/and the peninsula's marly run-off./I couldn't be any closer to the earth/if I tried, here where it is land one hour/and sea the next. Birds blow by in clouds, . . "
Then on our way out of the park we stopped at the Anhinga Trail where Eileen Powell, the current Artist in Residence, was encouraging visitors to collaborate in the construction of a ceramic tile wall. Way cool.
Here, here's a fine example of our government money at work. And it's another reason for me to keep writing. Forget the fame, the fortune, the groupies - someday, perhaps, I'll have built a resume good enough to get chosen as an Everglades Artist in Residence.