"...That once there was a fleeting wisp of glory called Camelot."


by Jorie Graham

(St. Laurent Sur Mer, June 5, 2009)

Sometimes the day

light winces

behind you and it is

a great treasure in this case today a man on

a horse in calm full

gallop on Omaha over my

left shoulder coming on

fast but

calm not audible to me at all until I turned back my

head for no

reason as if what lies behind

one had whispered

what can I do for you today and I had just

turned to

answer and the answer to my

answer flooded from the front with the late sun he/they

were driving into—gleaming—

wet chest and upraised knees and

light-struck hooves and thrust-out even breathing of the great

beast—from just behind me,

passing me—the rider looking straight

ahead and yet

smiling without looking at me as I smiled as we

both smiled for the young

animal, my feet in the

breaking wave-edge, his hooves returning, as they begin to pass


to the edge of the furling

break, each tossed-up flake of

ocean offered into the reddish

luminosity—sparks—as they made their way,

boring through to clear out

life, a place where no one

again is suddenly

killed—regardless of the "cause"—no one—just this

galloping forward with

force through the low waves, seagulls

scattering all round, their

screeching and mewing rising like more bits of red foam, the

horse's hooves now suddenly

louder as it goes

by and its prints on

wet sand deep and immediately filled by thousands of

sandfleas thrilled to the

declivities in succession in the newly

released beach—just

at the right

moment for some

microscopic life to rise up through these

cups in the hard upslant

retreating ocean is

revealing, sandfleas finding them just as light does,

carving them out with

shadow, and glow on each

ridge, and

water oozing up through the innermost cut of the


and when I shut my eyes now I am not like a blind person

walking towards the lowering sun,

the water loud at my right,

but like a seeing person

with her eyes shut

putting her feet down

one at a time

on the earth.

please note: photo by Mark Shaw from the Monroe Gallerie


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