Sharks in Ocean… Park

Lee Fierro on screen during the screening of "Jaws" in Ocean Park. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

JawsFest: The Tribute, a four-day festival of events held this past weekend, featured many events focuses on the making of “Jaws” and honored those involved who have died, such as author Peter Benchley and actors Roy Scheider and Robert Shaw.

One of many events, the screening of “Jaws” at Ocean Park on Sunday, Aug. 11 (rescheduled from Saturday because of inclement weather), drew between 1,500 and 1,800 people according, to organizer Susan Sigel Goldsmith. The number was fewer than expected because of the re-scheduling. The film was shown in its new Blu Ray format, three days before the Blu Ray version hit the market.

In addition to the showing of “Jaws,” there was a conservation message, and Martha’s Vineyard Poet Laureate Lee McCormack read his poem, “At the Apex.”

At the Apex


The Kyries of Nature abound in blood

In dying reefs and daemon floods

That ebb and flow and fall and rise

Between the silences of oceans

And primal notions of civilizations fear.

Along with reefs, the bones of nations fell

In ignorance and lack of willingness

To receive the spiritual gifts

Of ancient myths that gave a human face

To this world’s savagery. Now only man remains

The one, living Apex predator, not prey

And legends of murder fall in greed from tongues

To become the final history our young believe.

Will they also be the ones who, like we, cannot listen

To the creature hymns of Earth and sea

In its radiant multiplicity of animals born

Into this wilderness of purpose and creation?

Or will they also be numb, and only hear the bitter salt

Harshly singing to stones, and the cormorants

Warning cries witnessing the final signs of our failure

To honor this world, its life and radiant energy?

In our lack of faith and infidelity to creation’s mystery

How can we expect salvation from the sea?


The Terrifying Radiance of Angels

They come to us in silent beauty

Without mercy or rancor or wings

A terrifying radiance of ghosts and angels

Gliding gracefully out of the shadows

Under man’s primitive, unconscious fear.

They come following a single drop of blood

In one million parts water

Through Nature’s rapacious currents of hunger,

Bearing 400 million years of Earth’s history

And up to forty thousand teeth, in jaws

That, in a single lifetime, will receive

Everything the seas offer without resistance.

They come from the original, genetic

Origins of form and earthly Genesis

To clean the waters of excess and foulness left

When death takes over an animal’s flesh

And turns it to debris.

From the living oceans they serve faithfully

They come to us without mercy or rancor or wings

Worshipping the sacred, distant electricity

Of motions and vibrations we can never see

Guardians, takers of life, resplendent and divergent, these

Flying wraiths, goblins, ghosts defying gravity —

Necessary and predatory, radiant Angels of the Sea.