We just returned from our annual trip to the east coast, where for the past seven years or so Christine and I have been juggling several different projects. While the sites in North and South Carolina maintain a certain degree of magic for us, we both had the feeling that some of the extended documentation and artworks were drawing to a close. The task ahead is to try to determine what has been accomplished, and what the best forms/forums might be for presenting the work.
One nice piece of my summer reading has been The Stones of Emptiness, a book of poems by Anthony Thwaite. The selection below was serendipitously juxtaposed with my time on and overlooking the tidal rivers and mudflats of the Carolinas.
At Pagham Harbour
These are salt acres, the sea’s tithes
Drenched twice a day, worked by the crab and gull.
At low tide mud heaves and breathes
But only in waiting for the levelling pull
Each wave makes as it fills the harbour mouth.
Coarse grasses stand
Stiff before even the strongest wind.
No hedges here, or walls, or any path
Except for the birds’ frail tracks,
The scribbled spoors of crabs, and scattered rocks.
No one can tell the way the paths
Ran once, and who has walked them, over there
To Manhood, maybe, where the water bathes
Its buried church. The sea smothers the air
And we breathe salt and hear only the sea.
I think about
That ninetheenth-century parson who looked out
And saw a wall of water half-fill his sky,
The sea marking its bounds,
Breaking its barriers, inheriting its lands.