By Amy Clampitt
While you walk the water’s edge,
turning over concepts
I can’t envision, the honking buoy
serves notice that at any time
the wind may change,
the reef-bell clatters
its treble monotone, deaf as Cassandra
to any note but warning. The ocean,
cumbered by no business more urgent
than keeping open old accounts
that never balanced,
goes on shuffling its millenniums
of quartz, granite, and basalt.
toward the permutations of novelty--
driftwood and shipwreck, last night’s
beer cans, spilt oil, the coughed-up
residue of plastic--with random
impartiality, playing catch or tag
or touch-last like a terrier,
turning the same thing over and over,
over and over. For the ocean, nothing
is beneath consideration.
of so many mussels and periwinkles
have been abandoned here, it’s hopeless
to know which to salvage. Instead
I keep a lookout for beach glass--
amber of Budweiser, chrysoprase
of Almadén and Gallo, lapis
by way of (no getting around it,
I’m afraid) Phillips’
Milk of Magnesia, with now and then a rare
translucent turquoise or blurred amethyst
of no known origin.
goes on forever: they came from sand,
they go back to gravel,
along with treasuries
of Murano, the buttressed
astonishments of Chartres,
which even now are readying
for being turned over and over as gravely
and gradually as an intellect
engaged in the hazardous
redefinition of structures
no one has yet looked at.
Let's not even get into my Tuesday except to say that it was near total frustration and the only thing I accomplished of note was getting groceries bought, which I did with Paul in the late afternoon, though when we went to the deli beforehand, they served me egg salad with celery after assuring me that the egg salad did not have celery and I ended up having a bagel and cream cheese for dinner after having had a bagel and cream cheese for breakfast.
And, again, that was the really GOOD part of my day. My evening was, at least, mostly quiet, involving The Flash which is kind of boring me (relationship stuff too cutesy, villain stuff too mean) and a bunch of family financial paperwork, plus a long letter I wrote to a specific person and realized it would be much smarter for a whole host of reasons not to send. Here is one of the nicest parts of my past weekend, the Seaglass Carousel in Battery Park, best experienced live!