The Wisdom of the Waves

..

Having the slightest notion
of what they knew,
know
they did it.

There, today
the beach is still.

Similar shells,
all are occupied by the sea.

Eaten:
birds, crabs, other marine
creatures die of old; die
as ancestors died,
year after year,
century…
are born, continue
the building of shells.

Here is perceptible difference
between today.

Occupy them, shells
of a million, a hundred
million. The shell-builders
have died, and died,
and died, and dying,
unchanged.

A clam is a yesterday,
forever.
.
PoMoSco with Margo, day 27.
Source text: I Say Sunrise, page 126.

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3 Responses to The Wisdom of the Waves

  1. A clam is a yesterday, forever. Except when it gets scooped by a seagull. But that’s forever too! Time and the course of human nature are oblivious to us mere humans…. true enough. And yes, the waves must have all the wisdom.

  2. margo roby says:

    LOVE this:

    The shell-builders
    have died, and died,
    and died, and dying,
    unchanged.

    A clam is a yesterday,
    forever.

  3. Jean says:

    Oh my word, this is so deep. There is a world of story between the lines. Like the way you left “marine” hanging, drawing out the other meaning. All the homophone play that layers this, like “waves” and “shells.”

    I love the way the speaker talks to the reader on such a personal level in the opening. Something happened in this relationship that both the speaker and the reader have become aware of. It’s something no one else was supposed to know, except for the two. I’m picturing a girl having a fling with a marine. No one was supposed to know it, so either she was too young, or she was too married to someone else.

    The hanging “die” conjures the image of a die being rolled.

    “are born, continue” Can you guess what I see there? The speaker is angry with this girl. I see. He must be the girl’s husband, and he knows she was with this marine. Or maybe he is the marine, and she cheated with some dude while he was overseas.

    I love this: “Here is perceptible difference”

    And that ending, my goodness:
    “Occupy them, shells
    of a million, a hundred
    million. The shell-builders
    have died, and died,
    and died, and dying,
    unchanged.

    A clam is a yesterday,
    forever.”

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