Carolyne Wright

Rabia O’Loren

OCEAN MOONSET

Third Beach, Washington

 

I

It’s the season to haul in

the run of dreams.

 

On tide flats by night,

phosphorescent algae flare and bloom

beneath the pressure of my boots.

In the brackish cover in the lee

of dunes, fall-logs crumble.

When the old winds died,

fungus that blooms

in the rings of growing

blew them down.  The tough roots

of saplings grip them now.

 

I try to hold my own ground–

it shifts and glows with the pressure

of new roots, a different soil.

 

II

To know time by the moon,

I hike down clockless.

The sky is wide-open as an eye.

If the winds change,

I run through underbrush

to flee fog sliding in.

Always the flight is easier

than standing under fog—

the chill, the hanging moss,

the hours that lose their grip.

 

III

The kind of horizon—sea or land—

behind which the full moon sets

when it hauls the tide out

makes a difference to my ocean.

It has to slip toward midnight

at the world’s edge

on its own reflection

or it’s some other country’s truth.

 

IV

Tide runoff flees

like fluttering sandpipers,

then slow, stately gulls.

When it meets the first roll

of fog, it lowers its crest

and glides under.

 

My rising shudder

meets the first undertow

and stills.

 

V

The Pacific calms me

more than a monastery garden

or the Buddha under rain-hung leaves.

Through the fog-muffled roar

of surf, I find my way

toward sleep.  Distant breakers

multiply the moon’s eye.

 

VI

My dreams start out

slowly—thin canoes

gliding away from the silhouettes

of hemlocks through fog.

Shadowy as the thoughts of birds,

they slip toward the darkened

waters of the moon,

the lunar fluid glowing in them

as they go.

 

Author Biography:

Carolyne Wright has published 9 books and chapbooks of poetry, a collection of essays, and 4 volumes of translations from Spanish and Bengali. Her latest collection is Mania Klepto: the Book of Eulene (Turning Point Books, 2011).  Her previous collection, A Change of Maps (Lost Horse Press, 2006), won the 2007 IPPY Bronze Award. Seasons of Mangoes and Brainfire ((Carnegie Mellon UP/EWU Books, 2nd ed. 2005) won the Blue Lynx Prize and American Book Award. Wright, a visiting writer at colleges and universities around the country, served on the Board of the AWP from 2004-2008, and moved back to her native Seattle in 2005. She teaches for the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts’ Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA Program.

Credit: Published in Stealing the Children, Ahsahta Press, 4th printing 1992. © Carolyne Wright

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