A wooden ring, a bee, a flower

Extracted from a perfect pool

By the power of the sea,

By the rule of tide or gravity, who knows,

By the lunar coils and flows

From a strained society

Of chlorinated oils:

The ring, you say, the bee –

Pure veneer, not furniture,

Not prophecy:

More than hints and textures

Of Vermeer,

Whose floodlit odds and ends,


Shear rich, extravagant pictures

From their lavish pretense.




A distant horn and screech briefly disturbs me,

Someone’s clumsy despair

Broached to us in our sanctuary

Above all grief in the filtered air,

Brought to life by whatever sorrow,

A slip, a death, an affair,

Emerges in the papers tomorrow.

So forgive us, those who can,

Whatever flying griefs

Whose high-voiced cries

Have power over

Our trivial lies;

Forgive with your perfect lives

Beaching on obvious reefs,

Rough and groundless dives;

From the scroll of your deep-sea waves

Save our careless drowning eyes

From all the shoals in the world,

The walls of our submarine caves

Mollusked with unreachable pearls;

Save us, small and lame, from the tide

That rots with its solar blast

The unsuspecting innocent rhyme

Of the shallows that bound us

In our adolescent time,

Washed-up snags of rope and mast

Ripped from the chaos around us,

Transparent, blameless, and vast.



December 26th, 3AM

December 27th, 28th, 2010