Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Sea Chews Things Up

When I woke, the waves had gone black
turning over the macerated
curd of the ocean bottom, heaving its sludge
onto the beach. Some storm far out, I thought,
had ravaged the sea, stirred up its bed,
sent the whole mess flying to shore.
At my feet I found a grave of starfish,
broken and gnarled among the fleshy
spines and heads. Every shade of death
covered the sand. It looked hopeless
in the pale day but for the birds,
a congress of gulls, terns, and the rarest plovers,
calm for once, satiated, a measure of
the one law: this sea will claim it all--
feed them, catch them, grind their complicated bones.

--Cleopatra Mathis, White Sea


early hours of sky said...

I also thought her book was wonderful.

Unknown said...

Gorgeous imagery in this poem -- very fresh and unusual. I'll have to put her on my list! Thanks!

sam of the ten thousand things said...

A good sea poem has me right where it wants me. And this one does. Great imagery.

"grind their complicated bones" -- What an ending.

Emmy said...

So true how the world changes during and after sleep, during and after life.

An awesome poem.

Suzanne said...

I have really enjoyed her book--highly recommended.