The wind is smart with seaweed, salt, and mold.
I push my slumping body through its pulls;
it flails my rubber coat with brackish gusts.
I trudge along the beaten crescent beach,
impounded by gray granite headland walls
and cymbal-smashing dies irae waves,
past stinking heaps of purple mussel bones.
The tangled seaweed sinews snare my shoes.
of watching Perseid from here with her
a decrescendoing recessional.
A lighthouse wails a single French horn note.
Some ten tones up, a seabird imitates,
a matted gull on guano-crusted rock.
With depthless marble eyes he watches, blank,
not me, not sea, but nothing, everything,
and cracks the note apart atonally.
He’s not a raven, thrush, or nightingale;
his song is neither love, nor prophecy,
nor soulful fling, but empty piercing shrieks,
of endless, apathetic sea,
a cacophonous anti-melody.
There’s nothing here but mildewed requiem.
I turn back to the cliff-hid path for home.
Update: This poem has been published in the Winter 2011 issue of Cirque, a literary journal for the Pacific North Rim. You can view and/or purchase Cirque online at www.cirquejournal.com.