Two Poems

by George Moore

Late Walk on the Sea

There are times when time itself seems pure and simple.
Nothing but a breeze, a dune unstrung for the hair of the sea
that lashes us with its whispers, its muffled screams

for the late walk, the day rising out of the foam.
The diminutive world of sand
takes a billion planets to hold us up.

Have you ever thought about how we inhabit the earth?
A singular point of view
on a stretch of sand that runs, if you believe

in fractals, forever
into itself.
So the distances are not real so much as mesmeric

instances of the worth of things
rocks trees seals birds the single white shell
left for the purposes of poetry.

Someone recently asked if poetry had a purpose.
Some answer with a cause
a course of action

some wanted to see more of what it is we see everyday
on a daily basis, purified into a stream of consciousness
that goes on forever.

I was hoping to reach you by wavelengths
no longer used in the machinery of digital representations
no longer there when we ask what is there.

The purpose is not to question that habitation
but to transform it
into word, the singular moment cut clean through

as if one mind leaped into another
never going by way of the eyes and ears or the skin
jumping even before time

so suddenly that it is what it would represent.
The fog of late rolls in, as fog here is wont to do.
Particles that we share with the atmosphere in breathing.

Across the sand, the dog runs mad toward the dwindling
tennis ball
making his life a single point of departure

and return.
I wait for the edges to come together
(this is the secret of surf)

and for the poem to rise up like a tern
turn, swoop down on the slow creatures that spot the earth
and cut away, hoping it will not be remembered.


Birds of the Alentejo

In Portugal,
the pigs scrounged out all
the grasses and bark,

bent the small trees down
with the weight of their hunger.

But the birds go on chattering
an Alentejo tick
among their species;

the names escaping
are of little importance.

Those are human things,
the way we have of not feeling
quite alone.

The birds speak a different tongue.
A pure desire: need

to find to eat
that is not like the pig’s voracity,
a hunger of the air.

Open to the possibilities of now,
they do not rest on their stomachs.

The birds enjoy a singling out of time
in morning hour, a swirl of difference,
trill to low call.

Caught in the cacophony,
who can eat or sleep or think clearly?

I’m no other than a listener.
The birds drive home a sound
that differentiates into a world.

All that has occurred, all that time consumes,
at the break point of my day, remains.

Photo credit

About George Moore

George Moore's poetry collections include The Hermits of Dingle (FutureCycle Press, 2013), and Children's Drawings of the Universe (Salmon Poetry, 2014). Nominated for Pushcart Prizes and The Rhysling Award, Moore has also been a finalist for The National Poetry Series, The Brittingham Award, The Anhinga Poetry Prize, and the Wolfson Award. His poetry has appeared in The Atlantic, Poetry, North American Review, Colorado Review, Antigonish Review and elsewhere. He presently lives with his wife, the Canadian poet Tammy Armstrong, on the south shore of Nova Scotia.

George Moore

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