Archive for December, 2013

It Wasn’t Me, It Was The Pictures That Got Small

December 23rd, 2013

harp guyThis might have been a dream, or perhaps a nightmare, except that it was a waking vision and it felt oh so tranquil.  It seems appropriate to the season when we are saying good-bye to an old year and all the years that preceded it, and are on the cusp of the new.  I am not entirely happy with the way that my blogging program has inserted a little extra space between each line, but I’m not unhappy with it, either.  The extra space stretches things out and makes the poem have even more of a lazy, detached, languorous feeling.


I remain moored in the same place, but

every year the shore recedes further and

the big water deeper and wider all

around me. Used to be, I’d watch

the little pale fish: first their shadows

dotting and running the rippled sand,

darker green on the golden green, then

themselves halting and in unison

bolting like something sprayed from a

bottle, sometimes so fast disappearing

until my eye caught their shadows again.

That was when it was inches deep.

After awhile it was not fish but people

occupied my view, at first a shifting

few on their dry yellow slope: a couple

families, older ones mostly sprawling on

towels colorful as macaws, ones older

than that dazed on folding chairs, kids

helter skelter, half a dozen or so, digging

with plastic implements they’d leave behind

as if to mark where what they’d made

had been. I got to know a few. A fat

boy with a blue bucket. A college girl

lying on her stomach, looking both ways

like a kid crossing a street before she

reached behind and bared her breasts

to the sand while her boyfriend slept.

An old man and an old woman passing

a book back and forth, pointing at pages.

Of what they all said, as fewer and fewer

words could reach me, I understood

less and less, until it was only children’s

ejaculations and their parents’ (?)

cautionary howls, dimming gradually.

By that time they were numerous dots

on the beach, unevenly clotted as the

little fish had been; as not with the fish,

I could see what might have made

their patterns form. Shade trees. A tent

emitting loud music attractive to some.

Metal boxes in which to light fires.

Proximity of others like or unlike.


the time of day – the changing angle

at which the sun’s spears strike beneath

the mildly heaving surface into a blue

in which, at last, striations of light

converge but are lost before they meet –

is all I see.