CEASE searching for the perfect, shell, the whole
Inviolate form, no tooth of time has cracked;
The alabaster armor still intact
From sand’s erosion and the breaker’s roll.
What can we salvage from the ocean’s strife
More lovely than these skeletons that lie
Like scattered flowers open to the sky,
Yet not despoiled by their consent to life.
The pattern on creation morning laid,
By softened lip and hollow, unbetrayed;
The gutted frame endures, a testament,
Even in fragment, to that first intent.
Look at this spiral, stripped to polished nerve
Of growth. Erect as compass in its curve,
It swings forever to the absolute,
Crying out beauty like a silver flute.