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it’s always been the other shore

john martone

samuddo / ocean

copyright © 2015 by John Martone
isbn 978-1-329-48205-0

small plane so bright eyes hurt it’s always been the other shore 6 .

bare feet pause at bougainvillea magnolia close as you’ll get 7 .

your veins — monocots parallel dicots netted summer remember your water you’re water 8 .

watching waves till dizzy shelling a boy turns cartwheels tide’s coming in turquoise then deep blue ribbed shell sea 9 .

weathered driftwood human aloe plant lizards are really fast 10 .

epiphytes breathe on a power line you find home after home in that cloud 11 .

small lizards climb the doorframe at dawn snail rests on the stone 12 .

beachcomber looks for his place low tide sailor’s eye mermaid purse barefoot fool big bang waves wash up perfect shells 13 .

waves the morning after the morning before upright beach- comber’s found his driftwood spine 14 .

all those places roadside dreams all those depths a mottled sea 15 .

memory counting waves back to the very first — some no one salt spray no help for the lenses 16 .

slow as can be sandhill cranes across a hospital road 17 .

old men & sea urchins feeding tubes out of the sun bruises when you touch him from the deep — wine-dark old man skin ninety year old capillaries fish tail skin 18 .

august 6 a bell on this beach 19 .

old pen thus have I heard — cicadas cicadas now another tide .

sandpipers fly to the arctic & back & you’re afraid 21 .

sea turtle nests roped-off — how you know where you are blue heron sizing you up odd-shape frog 22 .

palm roots in storm let go just when 23 .

cell-by-cell more nakedly sea lettuce 24 .

caught in that current once sand-color with a catch-all pouch dead pelican 25 .

bare feet in the tide living things short-limbed — not much of a swimmer sand crab you 26 .

the same sand pipers shore & dream per haps surfwood went by another name then 27 .

my medicine buddha a lapis sky happens to everyone don’t be afraid 28 .

botanize the beach road 29 .

seed syllables flowers flowers seed syllables syllables seed flowers 30 .

lost in linnaean mantras discretion the smallest bromeliad — spanish moss propriety a cycad 31 .

spaciousness a sand pine 32 .

no one bougainvillea no one no one — 33 .

your name joyweed chaff-flower red beak — 3 days to remember your name heliconia 34 .

air plants in palm boots all the way home fingers your fingers air plant 35 .

banyan shade air plants leave room to breathe 36 .

hardly turn at all dune sunflower putting all clockwork to shame schefflera 37 .

coconut palm leans in advance of the storm 38 .

a green anole waits for you — why not smile 39 .

a fool gets lost in it ancient lives turn to stone in the sun at the sea ancient sun on the sea turns the stone into life ancient sea turns the stone of our lives into sun 40 .

but the bougainvillea dusk — 41 .

staying so long to watch the perseid shower outside your motel room 42 .

late summer the thought of — the thought of late summer late summer night sounds you turn to a lost art 43 .

perseid showers foam on the waves 44 .

nothing to do eyes adjusting to perseid dark 45 .

lighthouse yucca trailer park in the sand blinding 46 .

a buddha land’s rings of lakes bromeliad bromeliad & the sun at center sea oat people rooting in sand 47 .

white sand sawgrass cemetery soon at sea 48 .

space in the sea grapes for you it’s always been the other shore 49 .

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