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“A lot of people attack the sea. I make love to it.” —Jacques Cousteau

Lea Haratani has had a lifelong passion for the ocean, and every day she tries to show it. Some days, it means not eating fish. Other times, it’s all about taking a walk on the beach—or diving off the coast of Belize with Jim Simon, the vice president of one of the nation’s largest ocean conservation organizations, Oceana. She might also be found circulating petitions against offshore drilling with her children at Bookshop Santa Cruz, or organizing a fundraising event for Oceana at the Saint Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco.

Read more about Lea and ocean activism, featured in Good Times this week.

Hands Across Sand

Below is the poem Lea wrote for the Hands Across the Sand event in Santa Cruz.

For the Gulf

On the occasion of “Hands Across the Sand”

By Lea Haratani
In these last days

we disemboweled the gut of the Gulf, and

missed the womb that could have birthed Venus
septicemia spreads

like tendrils

on her watery grave
In Japan death with honor is

called seppuku
Here we hide the traces of blood


the truth sunken

like a pirate ship at war
each one of us, are

players in the greed that caused
the untimely death of families Pelicanadae,

Delphinadae, innocent warriors

that gave us their vertebrate

when we left the sea

and learned to breathe air
we drive our cars, blow-dry our hair

as if we understand beauty

living like drunken sailors on leave

like  there  is no tomorrow
The tide washed up cellophane wrapped

undignified carcasses, with

lineages that surpass human royalty
we must be bolder than love, the choice is

a million memories and no future or

a new paradigm
life without harm, collective action, the

ability to walk forward

without shame or regret

holding hands across the sand into the future