The Lonely Land

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Cedar and jagged firuplift sharp barbsagainst the grayand clouded-piled sky;and in the bayblown spume and windriftand thin, bitter spraysnapat the whirling sky;and the pine treeslean one way.

A wild duck callsto her mate,and the raggedand passionate tonesstagger and fall,and recover,and stagger and fall,on these stones-are lostin the lapping of wateron smooth, flat stones.

This is a beautyof dissonance,this resonanceof stony strand,this smoky crycurled over a black pinelike a brokenand wind-battered branchwhen the windbends the tops of the pinesand curdles the skyfrom the north.

This is the beautyof strengthbroken by strengthand still strong.

© Arthur James Marshall Smith