Newly published is Gather 'Round the Chesapeake: Tom Wisner's Vision (Sara Leeland Books, 2011). Wisner was a biologist, teacher, environmentalist, activist, artist, folk singer, and the Bard of Chesapeake Bay. He passed away last year at age 79, but his legacy of caring for the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries will live on. This brief book (a mere126 pages), edited and published by his friend and co-worker Sara E. Leeland, encapsulates Wisner's vision through his poems and occasional writings. Here are just a few excepts:
-- I want to focus on the Earth as teacher and the deepening of relationships with the planet. I am formed of the particles of the earth and I am its most intimate form: Its eyes, its ears, its spirit. This is the beginning of my theology. (2006)
-- The theme of birth and re-birth has significance in ecological visions. The life film around our planet has the remarkable capacity to use the energies of the moon's passage, the presence of oxygen and other stored compounds and minerals, the decay of other life, the actual turning of the planet, the light of the Sun and the mystery of water to make life. (2005)
-- My life and the doing of my art
are the same.
I am searching, sifting through the answers,
looking for the questions. [from Choosing Life]
-- The river has given me my words,
sung again and again,
so the words have worked their magic on me. (1985)
This small book speaks to me. It's probably the most important book I've read this year. Highly recommended for anyone who lives by an ocean, bay, river, lake, or stream, and for anyone who believes that tomorrow can be better for our children and grandchildren.