Bonnie Eldred [1910-1991] and I are friends. She was and still is one of my mentors in the field of marine science. She guided me through a new life and career showing me basic principles of research. Bonnie taught me new approaches to thought through simplicity and conciseness. She again teaches me here in poetry and graphics that man is an observer, and yet a participant, witnessing and recording patterns and cyclic events. As the interpreter, man thinks he is the end of a hierachy representing wisdom and ingenuity, but the ingenuity and wisdom is merely another facet of Nature's ways. In borrowing the ancient Chinese Yin Yang symbol of the universe, Bonnie portrays graphically the positive and negative duality of Nature.
Scientists, poets, artists, and philosophers are all attempting to reach the highest levels of understanding and expression. I believe that Bonnie the poet has through her understanding and insight provoked us to consider, with humility, Nature's brute force, her infinity, and absolute magnificence. Although we are Earth's children, our atoms are linked and attune with the most distant stars in space and time. Few people accept or comprehend the simplicity of what this really means. Bonnie Eldred is one of those few.
Karen Steidenger, Marine Biologist,
Florida Department of Natural Resources
Bonnie Eldred's love of the sea brought her from Terre Haute, Indiana in 1947 to a water's edge in Florida. She resides on Boca Ciega Bay in Madeira Beach with her husband Marlin. Their four sons grew up in this natural environment overlooking unspoiled mangrove islands.
Although self-taught in the field of biology, it was inevitable that Bonnie Eldred would find a new career in marine science. In 1955, she helped to establish a University of Florida Red Tide field station in St. Petersburg. Later under the auspices of the Florida Department of Natural Resources, this small field station grew to a large world-renowned marine research laboratory. Bonnie Eldred's role as a marine biologist expanded as a world expert on shrimp biology. Her numerous scientific publications also include research on Red Tide, ecology of Boca Ciega Bay, shrimp parasites, spiny lobsters, and early life histories of the tarpon, bonefish, ladyfish, and eels.
After 17 years in marine research, Bonnie Eldred retired to explore new dimensions of life. A visit into her home portrays the duality of this Gemini person. With ease she fluctuates between her paintings, artifacts, and books on Pre-Columbian and Asian civilizations and philosophies; studies of the Maya calenders and Chinese characters; and researching the life of Christopher Columbus. Finally in her poetry and graphics, she brings you into the present by brutally putting Mother Nature and man in their place.
[The blurb on rear cover.]
In MOTHER NATURE IS A BITCH, Bonnie Eldred has outstripped the Greeks! While they may have had their "word for it," Mrs. Eldred is the mistress of a good many free-swinging words that rip the gossamer veils from Old Mother Nature and expose the "lady" for what she is.
Nor has Mrs. Eldred neglected to take mankind down a crag or two by pointedly pointing up the close relationship between the bitch Mother and her two-legged offspring.
In abandoning her Marine Biologist role for that of purveyor of a vivid, analogous poetic form, Mrs. Eldred displays a fresh and unique talent for dealing realistically with her subject matter.
To those who like their Mother Nature quietly but lavishly entombed in moonlight and roses, MOTHER NATURE IS A BITCH will come as a shocker. But however she is preferred, Mrs. Eldred's book will be an eye-opener on "Mother's" true status in the scheme of things.
Any summary of MOTHER NATURE IS A BITCH would be remiss, indeed, if it failed to underscore the dramatic quality that Mrs. Eldred also has achieved in creating the illustrations for her book. The illustrations reveal the poet's outstanding talent as an artist as well as her remarkable insight into the Universe and man's relationship to it.