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George Evans


The old poet stumbles on a pebble
along a trail above cliffs at Land’s End
thunder underfoot      he says
age reduces everything to sound if you still hear
sight if you can see      except for sudden death
life flutters down      turn by turn
fast at times but not like cliffs that only blur in fog
and drop without tricks or illusion

row on row the waves/ move landward

silver at the offing      a poet’s only silver      rumbles
the ear      rolling      the eye      gathers
the horizon in the noise
memory tries to remember      any moment
has value      they are leaving after all      time and the ocean
but only the ocean returns      through other eyes
bearing the memory of earth      breath of all that lived
this endless commencing after the crash

for George and Mary Oppen
San Francisco, 2008

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