This morning the ocean shifted, then rose. Waves I have watched
strike my feet now slap the cliff face twenty feet high, tumble
forward, and climb with the tide toward the cliff top and my squat
shack on a parcel of land Jeffers sold to my grandfather.
His tower hawks over my privacy, taunts my solitude.
Maybe the water will expand and cover it, bury it with the rest
of America, uncover Jeffers’ bones and wash them into the unsettled
sea, far away from his tower, far below his beloved hawks.
I went out this morning to escape the human world and found
nature to be crueler, yet even in its fury passive, lulling. I have stayed
to watch an eagle soar above, circle but never dive.
Everything changes. Gods die. New ones birth themselves. Ignorance
begets passion and war. The most primitive civilization, most fit
for survival, strikes down the reigning order.
Could a starving hawk learn to manipulate rocks,
build a civilization of its own on mountaintops?
Late afternoon approaches. The sun sits across the ocean from me.
I dangle my feet in water. The eagle doesn't circle anymore.
He gave up. Maybe the fish swim at lower depths now.
I line up pebbles and seashells placing them outside the reach
of the waves. I scoop a dead starfish into the middle.
Poets lie, and philosophers teach them how.
Nietzsche killed God but lied about it.
Once, a hawk brought a pebble across a highway and dropped
it at my feet. I have felt that stone between my fingers,
rolled it in my palm. Godhood entranced me for a moment,
danced in my hand like a tiny, lace-winged fairy.
I know how Jeffers felt. I take the stone from my pocket,
place it onto the starfish. The sun falls beneath the plane of the sea.
I am content watching water envelop my shrine to the hawk's
end and the birth of his successor. I wonder if the waves
have yet pressed the tower, unsettling the hawks roosting on top.
Copyright 2010 by David Alastair Hayden