Northeast Coast

THE light fell and diminished:
it was the end of light.
The sea moved colored till purple and flame were finished
at the edge of night.
It was the first of dark,
the last of day,
the verge of visible stars, the merge of hours
when space grew wounded with piercing and turning flowers.
Over the quiet bay
the gulls went north as in forgotten Springs
to island gatherings. . . .
(They would return with morning, scream and ride
in the cold sea-hush,
float and quarrel on the rising tide,
until the final rush
of sun should blind the continent.)
But now
they darkened past the twisted cedar boughs,
they cut the lucid air
with narrow wings abruptly bound
to rocks we never knew and shall not know.
(O secret and washed by midnight waters, bare
save for the weight of wild and drowsy wings!)
The constellations, as in other Springs,
burst like buds on the sky’s dark tree, the air
quivered with living worlds. The coast was lonely,
humped with scrub and fern, thrusting its shale
into the spatter of foam, the dark-moon shock. . . .
The lifting tide sobbed only; you were not there.
It was the shore we loved, it was the near

(The cricket, invisible and clear, sharpened Autumn in the half-grown grass.)