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Lex Runciman: Coast Morning Not a Painting

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.

Source: President’s Blog (Southern Oregon University)

4 comments on “Lex Runciman: Coast Morning Not a Painting

  1. Barbara Huntington
    January 18, 2022

    Hungry for views that are not those outside my window, this was so satisfying. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Maura
    January 18, 2022

    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.

    Liked by 3 people

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This entry was posted on January 18, 2022 by in Environmentalism, Poetry and tagged , , , , .

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