Corsons Inlet

written by

« Reload image

I went for a walk over the dunes again this morning
to the sea,
then turned right along
 the surf
  rounded a naked headland
  and returned

 along the inlet shore:

it was muggy sunny, the wind from the sea steady and high, 
crisp in the running sand,
  some breakthroughs of sun
 but after a bit

continuous overcast:

the walk liberating, I was released from forms, 
from the perpendiculars,
 straight lines, blocks, boxes, binds
of thought
into the hues, shadings, rises, flowing bends and blends 
 of sight:

  I allow myself eddies of meaning: 
yield to a direction of significance
like a stream through the geography of my work: 
 you can find
in my sayings
  swerves of action
  like the inlet’s cutting edge:
 there are dunes of motion,
organizations of grass, white sandy paths of remembrance 
in the overall wandering of mirroring mind:
but Overall is beyond me: is the sum of these events
I cannot draw, the ledger I cannot keep, the accounting
beyond the account:

in nature there are few sharp lines: there are areas of 
  more or less dispersed;
disorderly orders of bayberry; between the rows
of dunes,
irregular swamps of reeds,
though not reeds alone, but grass, bayberry, yarrow, all ...
predominantly reeds:

I have reached no conclusions, have erected no boundaries, 
shutting out and shutting in, separating inside
  from outside: I have
  drawn no lines:

manifold events of sand
change the dune’s shape that will not be the same shape 

so I am willing to go along, to accept 
the becoming
thought, to stake off no beginnings or ends, establish 
 no walls:

by transitions the land falls from grassy dunes to creek 
to undercreek: but there are no lines, though
  change in that transition is clear
  as any sharpness: but “sharpness” spread out, 
allowed to occur over a wider range
than mental lines can keep:

the moon was full last night: today, low tide was low: 
black shoals of mussels exposed to the risk
of air
and, earlier, of sun,
waved in and out with the waterline, waterline inexact, 
caught always in the event of change: 
  a young mottled gull stood free on the shoals
  and ate
to vomiting: another gull, squawking possession, cracked a crab, 
picked out the entrails, swallowed the soft-shelled legs, a ruddy
turnstone running in to snatch leftover bits:

risk is full: every living thing in
siege: the demand is life, to keep life: the small
white blacklegged egret, how beautiful, quietly stalks and spears
 the shallows, darts to shore
  to stab—what? I couldn’t
  see against the black mudflats—a frightened
  fiddler crab?

 the news to my left over the dunes and
reeds and bayberry clumps was
 fall: thousands of tree swallows
 gathering for flight:
 an order held
 in constant change: a congregation
rich with entropy: nevertheless, separable, noticeable
  as one event,
  not chaos: preparations for
flight from winter,
cheet, cheet, cheet, cheet, wings rifling the green clumps,
at the bayberries
  a perception full of wind, flight, curve,
  the possibility of rule as the sum of rulelessness:
the “field” of action
with moving, incalculable center:

in the smaller view, order tight with shape:
blue tiny flowers on a leafless weed: carapace of crab:
snail shell:
 pulsations of order
 in the bellies of minnows: orders swallowed, 
broken down, transferred through membranes
to strengthen larger orders: but in the large view, no
lines or changeless shapes: the working in and out, together 
 and against, of millions of events: this,
  so that I make
  no form of

orders as summaries, as outcomes of actions override 
or in some way result, not predictably (seeing me gain 
the top of a dune,
the swallows
could take flight—some other fields of bayberry 
 could enter fall
 berryless) and there is serenity:

 no arranged terror: no forcing of image, plan,
or thought:
no propaganda, no humbling of reality to precept:

terror pervades but is not arranged, all possibilities 
of escape open: no route shut, except in 
 the sudden loss of all routes:

 I see narrow orders, limited tightness, but will 
not run to that easy victory:
 still around the looser, wider forces work:
 I will try
  to fasten into order enlarging grasps of disorder, widening 
scope, but enjoying the freedom that
Scope eludes my grasp, that there is no finality of vision, 
that I have perceived nothing completely,
that tomorrow a new walk is a new walk.

© Archie Randolph Ammons