R. K. Hagen


An Early Morning Sojourn (A Man Falls Down At The Beach)

Poem by R. K. Hagen

Down along the shore
The ocean runs itself like fingers through the hard sand
Drawing back upon itself the water encourages a suspended cobbled cross of stones
and soft chips of glass to path
Each errant step I take in meter to the waves sinks me deeper into the sand
until the earth's deed I change Sometimes when the waves stop snapping it's almost like sound shuts off
and leaves me standing barely breathing—
Naked to myself and the thoughts I say I have
There are no articles in mind
There is nothing to sing or dance to
or someone to take lessons from—
Only you and the sounds that you've been making all along A cobbler's leather thread to clutch together well
the stream of headless thought that rushes
through a long thin vein like salt into a cell—
freezing you in your horizons . . .
and the air blows hard to cross you in your shallow footprints
and strips away the bits of sand that serve as mortar to the stones
along the cobbled path that now surrounds your hands like they were a bracelet By four in fallow ground and feet in clay
Twisted like a drunken man feeling for his keys
when his back is burnt and the sun is west
The rolling treeless plain
specked in bleached and broken boards and temporal steps and subtle cues
Cues-like to feel for walls in a darkened room
Cues-like vapor are too vague when your anxious for direction
Clues on the surface roaming like Hamurabi’s code Because of my position
I can clearly see the path I've worn and the coins I've lost
resting like a nest of eggs in the shadow thrown
Couched in stones and splintered, sun worn, silver boards
My steps are under break and without course
Choking like a horse at high tide
Yoked in mere
Thrown and sun worn yet to remember:
only a crow knows his place in the rain,
a fool his way,
and a sandpiper, the coast, on a windy day

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Read poems about / on: horse, sun, dance, ocean, silver, sometimes, change, beach, remember, together, rain, water, lost, running

Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 2, 2003

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