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Friday, 26 November 2010

At Nightfall



Maintop (West End), Farallon Islands, from Southeast Farallon Island, evening: photo by Duncan Wright, 2005

A friend attends
to the tides as men

are given
to be accepted by

women, as though
the receiving

and the giving
were one

thing. To rest in such

regarding love must
require great trust --

the pure soul,
and the bit of luck

it takes to float
all that you don't

yet quite know
in the greater sea of the not

yet quite
knowing it. After the storms,

the dawn will break

and clear, once more
the Common

Murres will flock

upon the rocks
and the shore.

File:SE Farallon Island.jpg

Southeast Farallon Island and West End, Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge
: photo by Jan Roletto, 2005 (NOAA)

File:Drunk Uncle Islets.JPG

View from Maintop over Maintop Island (Farallon Islands), north shore, with the Drunk Uncle islets and the wreck of the SS Henry Bergh: photo by Duncan Wright, 2005

File:Murre colony farallons.jpg

Common Murre (Uria aalge) colony, Farallon Islands: photo by Duncan Wright, 2005

File:Murre colony.jpg.jpeg

Common Murre (Uria aalge) colony, with some of the 160,000 Common Murres of the colony nesting, Farallon Islands: photo by Duncan Wright, 2005

This post dedicated to SarahA


aditya said...

Bravo Tom !

The words come out effortlessly throughout -- in this impeccably structured form. This is a testimony to your very clever craft of writing. Everything this poem is about is the poem/post itself.

Great photos by Duncan Wright too.

aditya said...

The magnificent dedication in blue written in very small letters at the bottom escaped my dull vigil and frame of mind, which ofcourse have suddenly been over-buoyed, once I had read and re-read the poem.

TC said...

Thank you my friend.

As you know, there is no confirmation of something one has made that feels better than the appreciation of one who also makes such things.

TC said...

Aditya, the very small and faint typeface in the dedication were meant to (almost) slip it past the watchful eye of the very modest and very soulful dedicatee, who is, as you know, never one to solicit such public attention.

TC said...

The Farallon Islands, should anyone be wondering, are located off the coast hereabouts, twenty-seven miles outside the Golden Gate Bridge.

SarahA said...

And what am I suppose to say Thomas! Hmp!

*whispers* Thank you.

Beautiful. More so each time I read her. For each time I do, I find something different. I can look at her from different angles and listen to her talking to me in different languages (those of the heart), each time.

My word verification is 'herfult'; which could almost be 'heartfelt'

TC said...

Those word verifications are like clouds whose shapes mirror what is in our souls, I sometimes maybe almost think, so that good people seem to be the ones that see the good things that must have been hidden in them.

And if not to hide good things in them for us, why would Queen Google require them for entry to her Magic Kingdom?

aditya said...

Yes Tom. SarahA is an excellent human being for all the exchanges I have had with her.

ps- This comment would just not come up. King blogger doesn't like them good people I suppose.

TC said...

The Common Murre is also called the Common Guillemot.

But I think Murre is a better fit for a name, as the word comes close to the soft purring sound which is this bird's customary call. It's a very calm and soothing sound, to the human ear, almost a demurring.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Oh so full of wonder, Tom. And so much wisdom (because, as has already been observed, each reading yields more - not knowing, but feeling). Thanks.

as though
the receiving

and the giving
were one



the bit of luck

it takes to float
all that you don't

yet quite know
in the greater sea of the not

yet quite
knowing it.


as though
the receiving

and the giving
were one


Thank You.

Ed Baker said...

lots of 'connects' here-in for me. ... lots via words/images and imaginated reality...

but, I am partial to Stones... :

full moon
I think I'm in love
with a rock

I have a Main Muse .... who translates her VN name Doan Trang Nguyen to Dawn as in your piece...

in fact "she" resides among those island rocks or in them...or... like 10,000 kami ... under every one of them

gonna type out this poem of yours and tape it to my "wall of 'stuff'"
hang in (......)

TC said...

Don and Ed,

Really swell to "see" you both, warming up the timber-shivering, waning-white-moon morning.



Yes, as all who've already left comments have noted here, a beautiful poem -- and framed by such great photos. And so it seems again "the dawn will break/
cold// and clear" (but clouding up here now, another storm on the way, they say). Meanwhile, it's time this one "attends/ to the tides" ----


orange of sky on horizon above blackness
of trees, silver of planet beside branch
in foreground, sound of waves in channel

arbitrary condition of that
fact, divided by form

of light, observation based
on following, so that

cloudless blue sky reflected in channel,
shadowed green slope of ridge across it