Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Boundary Stones

Men move boundary stones
They pasture flocks they have stolen..
                                  Job 24:2
God said:
“Do not move boundary stones”
Boundary of boundaries
Do not move

But new planets and stars
Suns and galaxies
Spiritual, physical,
Man finds every year

Boundaries move
The near ones gravitate away
Around far ones

The universal constant is stress,
Not petroglyphs
Scratched in stone
By the finger of God.

For man by his wisdom
Has rolled them all away
From under them now awakened crawl
Insects with one hundred legs
Scorpions, pestilence, and plagues
In devouring crowds of confusion
Loosed is Pandora’s collection,
No boundary anymore can hold them.

Salt sea air
Creosote and tar
Fish boats at dawn
Cast off from docks

Weathered ropes and orange florescent floats
Rumble of diesel and smoke
Rise of a sail
White foam wake
Fish boats underway

Mist and sailing gulls
Rusty tubs and spotless yachts
Wreck of low tide
On barnacled rocks
Pilings and paint chipped cleats

Smell of crabs boiling in buckets outdoors
Stabs of sunlight rifting clouds
Cleaving sheets of rain
And quiet water

Spruce and cedar
Step out from shoreline hills
Feel the sun
Raise needled arms

In winds that fashion change
Sea birds swoop, reel sea to sky
Ferries, mission-sent, cross the bay
Tugs tow barges loaded with rusted iron
Ships arrive after a night of fishing

Trawlers, gillnetters, houseboats,
Seals diving in wakes while deck-hands
Clean client-caught fish
Head for shore cafes, pubs, gift shops
Of weathered wood streaked with moss
Above driftwood wrecked upon rocky cliffs
Harbour scum floats on sheltered water
Among boats at anchor
Piled with gear,
Crab-traps, hoses, cables, and rope
Behind the floating breakwater

It looks like the old days,
Fisher families raising fishermen,
Honest work for honest wage
Satisfied peace at end of  day
Equilibrium with the sea’s provision,

But this industry really is for sport, servicing debt,
Visiting cruise-ship entertainment,
Tourist’s fish caught by dollars spent,
Wantonly thrown out at the dock,
Sink to the bottom in mountains
Beneath the wharves, waves, and rot
Unmourned, uneaten
Scavenger crabs grow sick at the putrid surfeit
Hungry locals, thwarted,
Eat beans,
Love, wiping her lips,
Tosses them her polished bones,
So moved are all the boundary stones.

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