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The upper third color field
is all tin flash, ocean blue shoulders and tics.
That wide mid-brown crossed by shine is sand
and fresh water going home. And now and again, again,
a gull rides the invisible, gone over a foreground green
of shorepines and salal.
Now someone in a hooded jacket not quite pink
and not quite orange walks in black rubber boots
out to the spent-foam shallows, stops, looks, as one does,
curious or found or lost out of time, looks, does not move,
looks, turns then, walks back. Surf fishers. Gulls.
And that’s it, one morning in the drama of each of us alone
and by all our senses touched, not knowing
what so troubles us to wonder.
Copyright 2022 Lex Runciman
Born and raised in Portland, Lex Runciman has lived most of his life in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. His books include Salt Moon: Poems 1981-2016 published by Salmon Poetry.
Hungry for views that are not those outside my window, this was so satisfying. Thank you.
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Lex, this is lovely, and lingers. The title is intriguing, for a start, especially as your description begins like a Rothko ekphrastic, but quickly and nimbly gets chopped up following the movement of water, bird, and person. I find it interesting that so many poems of landscapes take a turn sooner or later to the human import of it. It makes me wonder why—and why it seems to matter (to us), and what we might be missing if we stayed out of it. Just a thought.
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What an intriguing thought. Thank you, Maura.
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Thanks, Maura. The speaker in this poem wonders why, too.
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