The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Friday, Olympics, Seaglass Carousel


Beach Glass
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.
                    It behaves
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.
                    The houses
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.
                    The process
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.

--------

I'm going to be distracted for the next few weeks by the Winter Olympics, so entries may be brief, sorry. They haven't even officially opened, yet we spent the evening watching the team skating and the freestyle skiing. Hey, these are a lot more fun to watch than the stock market collapsing.

My day started with a doctor appointment (blood pressure under control), some lunchtime shopping, a Mewtwo raid at my local Starbucks (caught with SeraphimPrime's help), a walk in the park, and a bunch of boring stuff. Because I was in the mood for it, New York's Seaglass Carousel at Battery Park:

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