I was sent a fine, short, dark image the other day about stillness in Little Sands. It precipitated this poem since I have felt at the water that sort of stillness that seems both complete and empty at once. I think it springs from our predilection for assuming meaning in, and imputing intent to, everything, and I suspect it is where the eminently attractive and utterly mistaken concept of immanence came from. The poem then, I suppose, is an attempt to capture that feeling while recognizing that it comes from inside us, from our species’ pattern-and-meaning-seeking brain, rather than being a message written, or an entity lurking, in the gulls and the sea and the stars.
Vanishing Point (Little Sands, PEI)
for Carolyn McKibbin
The wind at its vanishing point between
Day and night leaves headland grasses still.
The early evening Strait stretches
Tight between its shores at high ebb.
Nothing moves now but rising smoke
From the cigarette you left burning.
White clumps of gulls wait for low tide’s
Mussels, dark clustered revelations.
The stars will rise tugging at the moon
And tides as they drift slowly apart.