Chanson de mer

The exuberant power

of the natural world…

Chanson de mer

I am the rock.

I am the island.

I am the glistening boulder at the waterline.

I am the sharp-edged, flinty fragment,

tossed by the blue-green surge,

scattered by the stinging wind,

collected once, and dropped, by a child.

I am the ancient stratum exposed to the faintly salty air.

I am the blunt face of the heaved-up, broken stone,

I am the silent witness

to the everlasting crash and song of the sea,

I stand against the tumbling, roiling crests that

dash to me,

break on me,

climb my height,

die at my foot,

and rise, vaulting, surging, crashing, singing,

to grandly break on me again, again…

the lyric, rhythms, chords the same

as at the last or next millennial dawn.

I am the rock. The sea endlessly sings to me.

Good. Enough.



September 15, 2011

[This poem about the ocean and the coast is a respectful imagination of the exuberant power of the natural world around us. I think that’s the best kind of description of a poem about nature. I wrote it on a cloudy afternoon on the massive rock formation that dominates the south coast of Conanicut Island in the Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. Jamestown, at the southern tip of the island, is the home of Beavertail State Park. I’d love to go back.]

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On this website you can read: my poetry in free verse and 5–7–5 format — nature poems, love poems, poems about grandchildren, and a spectrum of other topics — written in a way that makes it possible for you to know, as precisely as possible, what’s going on in my mind and in my imagination; thoughtful book reviews that offer some exceptional critique of the book instead of a simple book summary; examinations of history that did and didn’t happen; examples of my love affair with words; reflections on the quotations, art, and wisdom of famous and not-so-famous people, and occasional comments on politics and human nature.

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