Poetry & Writing
Kate Spencer is a writer and poet as well as an artist. She responds to the natural world and to life through whatever creative means seems right at the moment, sometimes with a brush and sometimes with a pen. Kate was the Whitney Latham-Lechich Poet in Residence of Pacific Grove, California, from 2004 to 2006. Her articles, poetry, and book reviews have appeared in Wild Duck, Mid-Atlantic Audubon Naturalist News, and Monterey Poetry Review.
Kate’s guest editorial, “More Than a Fluke: Big lessons from schooling with the whales in Monterey Bay,” was published in the Monterey County Weekly on August, 26, 2010.
The Youngest Spelunker
The youngest spelunker on the team is nine
and she talks to the camera in her climbing harness
about how she likes deep pits because
descending into them she gets to go fast for a long time.
Shallow pits, like only 80 feet, are less fun,
because you go fast for only a short time.
“I don’t get scared very easily,” she says.
And down she goes — rappelling like a falling egg
and lands safely at the bottom
having watched her favorite thing:
the cave floor getting closer fast.
Girl courage into the darkness.
Doesn’t she know about that guy who was stuck
in a narrow shaft at Mammoth Cave in Kentucky
for fourteen days while they tried to dig him out
and he died anyway?
Thousands of bats explode out of the cave mouth
as a tumbling waterfall pours in and disappears.
Only a fearless girl unafraid of the dark
can follow the underground river
and find the red velvet gills
of the blind salamanders
in the heart of the cavern.
—©Kate Spencer 2006/2010
No copying, use, or reproduction by any means without
express written permission of the author.