Morning at Keystone Harbor

Mast-high pilons rooted knee-deep

and slapped by bickering waves

abrupt and cold,

salt-crusted sea cow tongues

washing creosote, lapping the black

cringing in retreat

waiting then swelling again

their ancient hunched shoulders

pummeling the shore

in a rough stadium shove

dripping their liquid rage

of full-fetched ocean and foam

stretched and rolled beyond limits

potential velocity breached and broken

while terns and kittiwakes play on invisible currents

high wire acts riding on daredevil wings

flickering silhouettes from kohl to silver

shimmering white then back to black again

frontside to backside

caught in sunlighted beams

fishnet patterns on blustering cyan blue skies

flocking smoke signals upon the milky haze

dipping, rising, daring swoops and arcs

Two terns tease a solitary grey-winged king of the pilon

a chanting glaucous gull, smooth and clean

om mani padme hum, cries the beggar bird

standing aloof, detached and rooted in observation

Across from the harbor a broad windowed café

flowering weeds and a climbing rose dance

red against white behind weathered grey benches

There, gathering the morning sun,

a writer sits, intense and frowning

lost in the force and dimension of imagine

and beyond her runs a mocking ghost fence

traversing the field beside the coast road

hung on it’s gate with rust-bleeding screws

a wooden board,  time-peeled paint,

chipped and blistered

tells its own half-dead but still kicking story in black on  white:

Private, it says.

No Trespassing

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April 1, 2012 · 5:03 pm

23 responses to “Morning at Keystone Harbor

  1. Ina

    This is so beautiful, the charm of a harbour :)

  2. Hi, Ina. It just feels great to get something posted again. I’ve been working on other less creative stuff – glad to find my toes back in poetry sand and all the more rewarding when my favorite poets reply. Thanks so much.

  3. I like the language of the beggar bird. Also the ‘fishnet patterns’. Jane

    • That’s so funny – I was trying to illustrate the way birds fly, like shoals of fish, with the whole community weaving a hollow shaped bag of sorts that bulges and twists and flows like sand in a jar – and I kept using the word haynet. I used to work with horses, so the haynet seemed like the right object but sounded wrong. Suddenly it hit me – ocean – fish – fisherman – OH! fishnet! duh…and the contortions I went through to get there. double duh. :)

  4. Your use of language is excellent! :)

    I love: “salt-crusted sea cow tongues
    washing creosote, lapping the black
    cringing in retreat”

  5. Kay Salady

    Excellent writing . . . so variegated and delightful!

  6. I’m glad I found your site. What I like about this poem is the way it moves from nature to the human (cafe, writer, fence etc), from the present to the past (rust-bleeding screws, time-peeled paint etc), and from the tangible to the speculative (who put that sign there, and why?)
    And we’re left wondering whether the writer is the writer of the poem or another. If she is the writer of the poem, then there’s that unexpected prohibition about further speculation: in black on white it tells us “Private – No Trespassing”. That’s a neat little conclusion!

    • I love it when someone reads a poem deeper than the surface and you dove right in. Your feedback actually pointed out something I wasn’t consciously aware of, but it rings true. Thank you so much for your thoughtful response.

  7. You have a rare descriptive prose, which also flows: ‘lapped by bickering waves’ was my favourite amongst many lovely turns of phrase. Great stuff!

  8. Very beautiful I must say the poetry and the picture both conveys the connection of mind and thoughts with nature :)
    Loved it
    Keep up the good work

  9. You have such a way with words, and I’m glad you’re writing again. I’ve missed seeing your name. I live in a coastal town, and although your description is far more vivid than this place is (it’s a very grey and miserable place to live), your words remind me of sitting on the seafront, watching seagulls whirling around in the sky.


  10. Such a vivid picture you paint with words!

  11. Cerridwen

    Thank you for such vivid imagery – you really took me to that salty, cool sea space with the birds crying overhead. :o) Here’s my offering this week:

    • Thanks cerridwen! I want to say I enjoyed your site as well, but can anyone “enjoy” shingles? According to you, many nasty things are far more desirable. Poor thing, I hope you recover quickly. Best of luck.

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