Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Living On Salt And Stone \ Straight Bay

Nancy: Under the sod, a record of time and lives past.  Broken bits and even unbroken bottles.  How soon will I be reaching for the liniment, picking the last sprig of tansy?

Living On Salt And Stone

Everywhere I dig,
I find the tools of my predecessors,
harness bits, broken plates.
I suspect that I should listen to these things;
I suspect that men do not lose their tools
while they still hope.  Women do not plant
and leave willingly.  But I am here;
and you have come, and we have plowed, again,
and it seems we will try where they failed,
living on salt and stone,
on love and salt and stone.

Alan: After I joined Nancy at Straight Bay in 1980, my father wrote to say that it sounded like a “good place for poets to meditate upon metaphors.”  I wrote this in response.

Straight Bay

There are no metaphors here.
Only a land and a sea
growing into and out of each other
with the tides and slow breathing
of isostasy.

There are no poems here.
Only the woods and the fields
growing into and out of each other
with the flux of farms, families, fires,
relative yields.

There are no poets here.
Only she and I
growing into and out of each other
in a flow of days listening to earth,
talking to sky.

“Living On Salt And Stone” first appeared in Living On Salt And Stone (Stone Man Press, 1984).  “Straight Bay” first appeared (with the title, “Here”) in Slow Dancer magazine.

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