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10.15.2008

sunset from long beach

watching the clouds across the sky soak up the spectrum of the setting sun,
i cannot agree with you, milosz, that words have anything to do with these things.
enough with naming. the clouds confound my vocabulary, dancing as they do
in twos and threes toward the hills. the peninsula appears like a volcano
denying itself, all things being sucked into its peak as quiet fire and smoke,
a happily repentant pandora's box. i want no lover here on the beach
to admire the scene with me. i want a gaggle of children, wide eyed and open mouthed.
they would not distract but understand. they would see the panther and giraffe,
the distant dragon lit with its own breath, tongues of fire, a beautiful woman, and at last
a flock of giant storks, weaving and wending their way into the mouth of the mountain.

i went to the beach to cry a little (or a lot), being unnaturally tired - nothing more.
but this was more than me by far, and i forgot to tear until beneath the panoply above
i saw two kayaks swimming home. then my face crumpled for the simplicity of the scene
and the sudden awareness that someone else knew this sunset even better than me,
not observing, but partaking in its beauty. at the last moment, when i thought
perhaps i had seen it all, the wings of the birds lit with a last intense and fiery glow -
a parting bow to we little ones below. the cranes of the port look like toys in the distance
and all this urban business seems so remarkably small. i know, i know. i said no words would do,
and here i write a poem not half as good as you.

4 comments:

  1. rub it in why don't you?

    Some of us only get to watch the smoke from the fires.

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  2. poems always feel more poem-ey after wine. mmmmmm. i like your reference to milosz, even though i dont really get it because i've never read him.
    i do like sunsets, though.

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  3. ojala molina, que rica poema! No beach sunsets here, but certainly volcanos. I hope you are doing well, I think of you very very much, write me when you can! I took a neat picture for you...
    Amanda

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  4. a comment from amanda!! that's a first. i suppose i really ought to email her now, eh?
    emily, i will bring you the milosz poem i am referring to here. i have not read all of his stuff, but from what i have there is this particular one that makes me stop and stare. he is pretty awesome possum in general, but i could write novels for this poem alone.
    jenny, i will see you soon. somehow, someway.

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