Editor’s note: One of the coolest things about Toque & Canoe is the collaboration that keeps popping up. Take Governor General Award-winning poet Lorna Crozier’s post on B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest – produced alongside conservation photographer Ian McAllister whose photo essay on the remote region ran on our pages earlier and, much like Lorna’s piece, harnessed a huge response from our readers.
After collaborating on a story about the area – one of the “world’s last wildest places,” according to CNN – the duo (who’d never previously met) decided to embark upon a project of their own.
“Ian and I are working on a book together—his marvellous photographs of the Great Bear Rainforest and my poems responding to his images,” Lorna explained recently. Here’s a sneak peek – one poem, one photo (above) – of their efforts to come, keeping in mind that visiting this rich and unique Canadian ecosystem left Lorna wondering about its future.
WHAT WATCHES OVER YOU
Sea lions gather above you,
as nosy and dispassionate as angels
who catch sight of your tasks
small and far below
before they soar to a place more troubling
than where you are, at least for now.
Underwater, angels don’t need feathers;
they don’t need choirs or saints.
The sea lions, too, get by without them.
Ocean-thick, minus legs and wings
they dive, climb and wheel around you
as if, indeed, they are your keepers
so close their whiskers graze your face.
*Follow the hotlinks in the introduction for more on conservation issues relating to B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest.