Friday, September 19, 2008


after the water

There is a always a threshold for things
that alter us, a clean edge at the start,
the surprise of it like a blade pressed cold
against the throat. The first wave is forgotten

in the next. Fierce water rises like a wicked sun
to spread across the fields, the little houses,
the ponies with their bright new shoes.
Oh, the tumble and spill of cobbled hopes,

the surge of flowerpots and paperbacks!
And there my heart dissolves, in the unbound
Bay, like a snow flake swallowed by the tide,
assimilated so that I might wrap around the fallen

palms and beams, might taste the rust and ruin.
It is nothing, no solace, no redemption,
but a useless rag I use to blot the tortured landscape.
I will not ask for pardon, will not assume

it matters. Better I was a splintered pole,
something stark and astonishing, than this quiet
sadness that only laps the dirty hem of sky,
an imperceptible swell that bears no boat or seed.

2 comments:

LJCohen said...

Oh, Dale, this has rendered me speechless.

Wow.

I sat with this poem for several minutes before I could write this response. One of your finest.

Well done.

SarahA said...

Love this, you. Beautifully done. How you've made it all flow on from one line to another. I have tried to write like such, but.......I just write what comes to me. I have no real discipline and just wait for inspiration to come sit on my shoulder and whisper in my ear.