Higgins Beach, August, 2006
How thin it seems, the night sky,
always presenting itself.
Big Dipper, Little, None,
The Sieve, all that extravagant display
of empty night sky.
This morning taking down beach towels
from the line out back, I look
out over the neighbor’s yard
through the gap where last night the North Star
danced between the trees.
How to shift the weight of waves
from the land back to surges;
what lever to lift the fog that lies
heavy still on the horizon;
Up the steps to the cottage porch,
someone tries to calculate.
Dirty white, gulls flying past,
Don’t be so fixed upon refuse!
Search the cliffs for Scholar Stones,
the sand for gleaming shells.
But the winds carry my scavengers
past fallacy to the point.
How open the days littered
with brilliant mornings beckoning,
and still the waters splaying
their sleek fingers at the shore;
how live it, the span of days, months,
or even years, to the end.
Too hot, this! The day, the air,
the sun that flattens wills beneath it.
A lobster boat works its way
buoy to buoy, pauses off the rocks.
Starboard side, metal crane and pulley
raise the streaming trap, the green prey.
My Father Writing Sijo
My father now at ninety-two
has started writing sijo.
The first seemed operatic:
two voices, alto and bass.
My mother’s earnest questioning,
his aria, “Never More.”
Copyright © 2008 by David McCann