Bird 'n' Tide is an assemblage sculpture inspired by what I, an urbanite from Brooklyn, NY, saw, felt, heard, smelled, and found on Great Cranberry Island during a week's stay in August of 1999.  The island's tidal pool and the effects of time and the elements were the great inspirers.  The tidal pool, its water and mud, its birds and weather.  The effects of time and the elements on rope, chains and driftwood. I was driven to create Bird 'n' Tide and three other assemblages between the flood and ebb lines.  Sitting for hours on late lobsterman Winslow Bunker's dock I watched Bird 'n' Tide, I listened to the mudflat's multi-sensory symphony of silence, weather and a multitude of birds flockin' together.  I absorbed Great Cranberry Island to be with me in Brooklyn.


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flockin' together

the mudflats,
a tidal pool in the nude.
water rushin' down,
t'wards a far rock
away, still blanketed
by seaweed
soon to bare its mussels.

the calls of day are dawnin'
low and reedy,
harsh and loud,
plaintive and slurred now 'n' then,
resonatin' faintly;
under the fog's shroud.

just sittin' here unfraught
on the lobsterman's dock,
I'm hearin' a crow, its flock
honkin'; jeets and breeps outcawed.

wails and whistles;
a soft chirrup,
the plover pipin' its pling,
a raucous kwrrk from the forest;
each doin' much of their own thing.

a keh-keh-keh haggler
hackin' away
at a dead crab's meat.

beaks balkin' bik bik,
crackin' shells on rocks.

an overseas straggler
soundin' its cheery kwuririp
among native chur-wees and kraaa's.

pockets of stillness
of water receedin'
seepin' from seaweed,
a turnin' tide perhaps;
voiceless cormorants,
some kreeps, some quacks;

a short, cleanly whistled oodle-oo,
a loon, laughin' in flight.
all wanderin'.
"could this be Flatbush Avenue?"

Polderson August 1999, Great Cranberry Island, Me.

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