Thursday, November 3, 2011

Gloucester Revisited

We perch on the rocks,
Our feet gentle sparrow claws curled
around the grooves,
In the summer that will not die:
Slanting spear-light on water
Small smooth stones skipping out to sea
As our feet across the stony gaps.
Joyful, free, until in the shade:

A goose, long neck wrapped around its body
At rest, swarmed with flies
Suffering that does not suffer.

Your stones skipping so far
Nimble, precise, 
Past the edge of vision into the sun.
Then, the glistening black otter
Stretched out beneath my feet
Shining, swimming towards a shore
It never knew it reached.

These prophecies of decay, their signs
and symbols, must all come true:
This world will never come again.

Migratory, I return there
to the summer that would not die,
the warm rocks that hold back the sea
and frame the sky's chandelier -
What nature foretold, is realized.
The sun slants over the water
as the evenings grow short
in a rush of wind, the
hushed breath telling me tales,
Winter without your warmth
As the sun slips deeply
and those still-smooth stones grow cool beneath me:
In darkness, loss.

Not long away, perhaps on a day like this
of strange brightness,
I will cede you to the West, while
The tide rises forever and
Joy's long struggle
Washes over all that was a
Warm birdsong of hope,
Freedom of solid ground, and
The patience of a twisted tree.

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