By Bruce Bagnell
continuing as pencil.
sits in hand.
waits for pencil.
poem, good poem.
Mind moves hand
hand breaks pencil
Paper is uncaring.
Poem sits in mind
to write it down.
A Visit To Clair Island
We were on Clair Island,
the mist in heavy upon the raspberry lane.
Climbing down there was foxglove in the hedgerows,
the outline of a building grayed,
fog washed into half vision.
We stood looking back to the sea.
A bird in brush
sang police whistle songs
near an old quay
limpets showed high tide way up the rocks,
a seal caught breath below in the narrow channel out.
You had better know the rocks
like a fish to bring a boat in here,
you had better want this idyllic wet place
with its steep hills, stone cottages and cows,
with its jalopy cars, pieces hanging with fence wire,
all supplies expensive coming off the boat.
We knew of a husband of a friend who lived here,
inquired of him to an innkeeper
to learn of the three-chimney house on yonder hill.
We didn’t go to see him,
the boat was leaving in an hour and besides,
she had left him years ago,
tired of the smallness of this place,
mostly nature to look after
unless you wanted others all up in your business.
I’ll bet the seals knew him, the cows for sure
and what of her, did she ever know of him
in the surprise of his move
to this misty steep-hilled Island
or was this another marriage built on myth
to be dissolved by little things,
a calving at three AM,
the wind-driven wet-cold of the place,
bookstores an hour’s ferry ride away?
This is what we took back on the boat,
thoughts about men and women slowly blown away.
We stood on the deck, wind in our faces.
A seagull used our ferry’s air-wake to glide behind,
the boat tolerating the bird, a good marriage this time.