As the Sun Goes Down

Do not mistake these for slowness,
Not a lazy evening near the ocean
With the gentle-seeming stirring
Amongst black strands of seaweed
In shallows—for this is only the waves’
Awed whisper of the weight of the sea;

Not the bank of a blue heron
Into a faint breeze so it may stall
And pivot on the long axis drawn
Wing-tip to wing-tip through
The careful cupping of its wings
To touch down in water to feed;

Not these straggles of wild grasses
Like untrimmed hair fallen out of place
Over the brows of capes
Undercut stealthily by wind and water,
And not the frenetically shuttling swallows
Stitching their lives into the cliffs—

Even they seem in slow motion
To sandhoppers scouring the seaweed.
Only the tardigrade might know
The true measure of time; its thready
Pulse of geological eras
And the sun’s brief moment of flame.

About John MacKenzie

I'll mumble for ya. Poetry, plus most things quantifiable: science, neuroscience, memory, epistemology, baseball. And so on.
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