a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
Pemaquid Beach, Maine September
of soft white sand,
gypsum left from a glacier,
looks over John’s Bay,
a last lobster boat chugging in,
and, far out, the Hardy boat
ferries tourists back, Monhegan to New Harbor.
The snack bar long closed,
the parking attendants have left the lot
and the last townie and tourist
have folded up blankets and gone.
Falling sun gold-plates the water.
Small waves, combers really,
ride almost silently in to shore.
Overhead the strident cries
of common gulls as they circle
and dive for porgies
who’ve come almost suicidally in
to the shallow water, followed
by bluefish who feed on them.
A lone fisherman casts
and pulls in the blues–a stack of them
grows on the sand beside him.
At the far end where a rocky outcropping reaches
out into the bay, I watch the one boy left
clamber across the rocks, testing his balance,
hunting for what?
On the bordering dunes,
dune grass is silent in the no wind
and beach roses have gone
to rose hips, big as golf balls.
But here where I stand on the shore,
the mechanical rake has come and gone leaving
a heap of bladder wrack and kelp.
A dozen sandpipers skitter
through the tangle,
staking claim to the sand flies
and small insects they find there,
while, just beyond, on a cliff,
above the rocks, last light ignites
the windows of the cottage on Fish Point
until that one house,
as if it is the last house in the world,
has caught on fire.
Patricia Fargnoli’s latest book is Hallowed: New & Selected Poems, Tupelo Press, 2017. She has published 5 books and 3 chapbooks which have won awards such as The May Swenson Award, The Sheila Mooton Book Award and the NH Literary Award for Poetry. A former NH Poet Laureate, she’s been a resident at the Macdowell Colony. She’s published individual poems in such journals as: Ploughshares, Harvard Review and Prairie Schooner.