I am at home here
among the soft blue waves
and I will linger here awhile
with the gulls and white herons,
even among storms, I will linger
and then I will be found
In the beauty that created us,
at home in that thankfulness
In a house built
by a throne
of stars ...
© 2019 by Bruce Owens
On the sheer cliff,
tucked under the wind,
their heads tucked under the wing
covering the wild eye from assaulting spray
and cold salt tinge.
Beyond the vast horizontal west,
petrels on the winter edge of a storm
make for sandbars and sanctuary amongst
the reeds of turbid estuaries.
These seabirds scurry in the face of the torrential downpour,
the turbulence that churns the oceanic surface
already gone black with the night.
Epiphanies of light
splinter the dark wet. Somewhere out there
nature flashes white teeth. Out there
on the surface of the deep, beyond
the continental shelf, the Spirit,
the nisus flex that binds the sky with ocean;
cloud colored water; steel-grey and black.
Inexorable purpose unfolding within the source of things.
The hidden One. Not the nerved rote of seabirds
caught on the shrill cry of their own plexus. No,
the hidden One in all
His acuity rides the storm in a chariot of fire;
the wet scintilla of quarks.
I look out on the water that retains light of the set sun.
Lavender pools in the white foam of a broken wave,
a cormorant bobs on the roll of high tide,
slips under an incoming wave that shudders into the cliff.
A line of dark cypress at the edge of the cliff;
an old windbreak of a former time,
and behind my shoulders, across a short span of street,
the Victorian is now a house for priests.
The chug of a motor scooter. Rap music
blares from open windows of passing cars;
downshift of gears and pride,
the bare stride of the jogger
panting on the air. Lovers
arm and arm take in a stroll,
nuzzling for warmth,
take no notice of the cormorants
a few feet away
tucked under the lip of the cliff
nestled in their own warmth.
The jogger pumps the brain with blood,
the helmeted bicyclist leans into the curve
and glides like a gull on the wind.
Tacit couples linger near the sounds of evening
and are content.
Little do they know
that this lapse novas
and affluence dims the tide;
that pragmatic presumption invites tyrants.
A piece of sandstone dislodges in the face of the cliff
and crumbles as it falls to the churning water below.
© 2017 by Bruce Owens
(Bruce’s poem “West Cliff” appeared in his book Across the Light: New
and Selected Poems, published by Middle Creek Publishing and Audio.)
Bruce Owens has been writing poetry for 50 years. He has been a guest lecturer at various colleges in California, lecturing on the nature of the creative process, and he has conducted poetry workshops, mainly with young adults, especially those struggling with various addictions or having come from an abusive household, using poetry both as an instrument of discovery for self, and as an entry into the world around us. His collections of poems include Eddies in the Rush (ISBN 0-971256-0-0) and Across the Light: New & Selected Poems.