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tree meditations and others 225
a fl ourishing of distinctions
in the same air, the same
half light
Mrs. B. one more time: "Harlem be the onliest place in the world you
could have a headache, be broke and hungry and still laugh."
-- yesterday (another yesterday), drive upcoast a few miles;
edge down tall cliff to sandy and stony isolated beach;
huge rocks, black in the off shore glitter, form islets, close-set;
holes like doorways or gates eaten through them to sea-light;
sea lions loafi ng out there at water's edge, seafowl gray-white on crests;
the place is not of the land (which is shut off from it by the cliff );
the sea is shut away from it by the great rocks standing off shore;
the place is unfrequented by people; a violent cold wind is blowing:
behind a black rock that rises
straight up out of the beach
we encounter a collection
of huge stumps and logs,
each one weighing tons,
lodged everywhichway
(showing the strength
of the waves: how light-seeming
the logs would have spun
and tumbled in end over end)
their bark taken off cleanly
by storm, glare, wave-blow
they have acquired a sheen
of curious fi neness -- transmuted,
a silvery white, they
are phenomena of light,
light (that were never