Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ruins Awaiting the Tide

Ruins Awaiting the Tide

What seems solid is shifting-- waterside
shapes that stand in heaps and mounds between tides.
Castle and moat, mere sand, but the solid
matter of dream. Inner life now amid
the salt and sand and sun. Green water now
blue, now darkened by clouds, all serves to show
the limits of this light-brown world--alone.
Whose inner life is here displayed? No one
remains, no one lingers nearby, the beach
is empty. And yet these lone ruins seek
a ruler, a Lord, a central being
whose breath and life and vision give meaning
to laying lonely in the wash--to here
and now.

                 Five mounds--towers against the fear
that made them tall, that tears this uncanny
place each day. A world now water, now land,
never even momentarily the same.
These ruins stand for now, awaiting rain,
portended in the clouds, awaiting tide
to wash away the memory, to slide
into the sea without a trace. Ruins
that crumble with a breeze, and vanish in
salt spray and morning rime stand for a time,
the lesser mirror of not-yet-ruins
that glower down the beach-front, challenging
the elements to find them so wanting
as these small sand mounds. Sheer hubris, in less
time than tide would take to take away these
idle thoughts, monuments to a beach-trip
the wind and waves and sand and sun could rip
calm disdain apart and spread its remains
as far as sea stretches and tide touches
the land.What thought itself grand is made less
by nature and by One at whose command
nature takes its form.

                                        This castle now stands,
or slumps the perfect monument to this
morning's moment of thoughtlessness, a space
that brings light and shape and meaning to this place.


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