background image
in plain air 199
old rocks out in the late light
Chill air and the sea sunk, like a lake
In drought-time, back from the gray sand,
A bright place the size of a man's hand
On the waves, where the light comes through a break
In low clouds. And the striped rocks. They take
The eye between fl at sea and land,
Humped, leaning, pale band by dark band,
Green-bearded, dripping, with pools that quake
In the raw breeze. Here's one pokes out
At our cliff s a heavy upper jaw
That with the lower grips in its maw
The sand I cross. Surely the brief light
Is holy, and holy the darkness light
Makes when it goes, but not that snout.
a quiet fourth
Homesick, building a fl y rod on the patio
All the fresh sunny breezy morning; a calm blue
Sky and green leaves close me in. Low tide's at two,
And I'll run then. -- The dusty parade and rodeo
Took place in town, all right, forty-fi ve years ago,
A thousand miles away; fi reworks afterwards, too,
And then the ride home on the dirt road, winding through
The cool fi elds in darkness, hearing the water fl ow
Over the weirs; and then our dogs, at the driveway turn.
-- And winter's the time for Hendry's Beach; therefore I'll write
This one, to do for my few summer runs down here:
Beach fl at, trampled, sea fl at, slack and warm and clear;
People little black fi gures against the big silver light;
Close up, it's beer can, frisbee, radio, sunburn.
July 4, 1978