Volunteer biological science tech Toni Caldwell is inspired by the constant change and surprises she encounters in her work on the remote island of Laysan:
Why We Do What We Do
by Toni Caldwell
Constant does the wind blow -
uplifting aerial acrobats with wings.
Nose-diving would-be Kamikazes
drop, serpentine and evade.
Constant does the wind blow.
Constant do the waves break -
churning, tumbling, crashing, splashing,
bearing gifts from distant shores.
World’s largest blue aquarium both calm and violent,
constant do the waves break.
Constant do the plants grow -
Arched longingly down the beachfront
like in Genesis, covering up their naked bits.
Ipomoea tendrils spring in disarray;
constant do the plants grow.
Constant do you strain to hear -
chirping, growling, sneezing, barking, slapping, wailing,
drum rolls and courtship melodies.
A lone violin, fragile and precious.
Constant do you listen.
Constant is the need to know -
How, why, where, what, when?
As if this land did not exist before humanity.
Life now struggles to survive our existence.
Constant is our need to understand.
Constant is the will to live -
Life interrupted, yet trudging along.
Food - water - shelter - space
for a place so special yet so easily overlooked.
Constant is the work we do,
for an ever-constant Laysan.