World traveller Michael Thompson shares some Ordinary Magic

He caught the poetry bug while taking Scott Starbuck’s Poetry of Climate Change class at Mesa College

  • Ordinary Magic
  • Magical, she calls it,
  • first flash of sun
  • splits the eastern horizon
  • far out over Sea of Cortez.
  • Osprey responds to my whistles
  • short shrill calls from her morning perch
  • on bluff above our camp.
  • Six pelicans swoop low
  • floating on still air,
  • settle below blocky island,
  • cliffs glowing yellow in early light.
  • It’s 6:31. First outbound flight
  • rattles windows of my San Diego home,
  • aroma of kerosene wafts across my small front porch.
  • Frigate birds drift on prehistoric wings
  • high above translucent glass
  • of Ensenada San Basilio.
  • School of silver fish erupts
  • from undulating chrome
  • launching themselves once, twice, three times
  • in pursuit, escape, or joy I cannot tell.
  • Newscaster on KPBS tallies:
  • commute south on Highway 5 slow-and-go,
  • reports of motorcycle down on Fifteen south of Temecula,
  • Coronado Bridge backed up all the way to the strand. . .
  • My sister follows tracks
  • that crisscrossed our camp in the night,
  • finds small creature in its borrowed shell,
  • sets it on her palm, studies it,
  • crab emerges cautiously,
  • studies her.
  • Is it magical, I wonder,
  • or have we just lost touch
  • with the natural world’s everyday magic,
  • and the extraordinary, but very outlandish magic
  • that is all of us, its inhabitants?

Michael T. Thompson

Michael T. Thompson

After attending Helix High, Grossmont College, and San Diego State University, Michael and two friends built a 44’ boat, sailed past Point Loma and turned south. The sailing years included the Caribbean and an Atlantic crossing. Michael has managed aid projects in Sudan for the Canadian government, built an international distribution system for telecom technology, and designed and built modular, energy-efficient housing. He has worked as a technical writer, published newspaper and magazine articles, written one novel and some poetry. He currently lives in Ocean Beach and caught the poetry bug while taking Scott Starbuck’s Poetry of Climate Change class at Mesa College.

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