The FAB&PP Poem of the Month for September 2000


depending on
the four ducks
in the detritus of low tide

    [like me
    scraping for a poem
    in a summer
    afternoon too
    common and
    too pure
    for ex

in the silence of the
low tide on
the southern shore
on the western
    iím standing in
the brown edge of
the blue
    the ducks
move away, subtly,
along the ripples
not wanting
to abandon
their spot
    [not waiting]
but wary of me

the children on the
far side of the breakwater

not wanting to be
silenced yet their
splashing rudeness like
a shell encasing the empty
quiet of the
    like the drone
of the tour launch gliding
back to wychmere

the encasing calm

    like the sloshing
of the ocean sleeping
low on the new sand

    i move away
the ducks circle out and
reclaim my spot
    i retire to
walk away from sand
to asphalt

    from shore
to patio from my
imagination to my
rented kitchenís table
    from my
poem to the writing
of it

the only cormorant
sits apart from
the gulls
    gray calm
illuminates the
    the peepers
peck at the
low-tide remnants
the end of the
breakwater fades
into the
bottom of the
fog bank
ocean flat
the tide waning
into noon

high sun
caressing the
shoulders of the
sitters and
guards and
street strollers

the cormorant
stretches and looks
to the sky
the big
tucks in beneath
a wing

the end of august
the tide turns

Red River Beach, August 28 and 31, 2000
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