Learn More

Amy Clampitt

(15 June 1920 - 10 September 1994 / New Providence, Iowa)

Beach Glass


While you walk the water's edge,
turning over concepts
I can't envision, the honking buoy
serves notice that at any time
the wind may change,
the reef-bell clatters
its treble monotone, deaf as Cassandra
to any note but warning. The ocean,
cumbered by no business more urgent
than keeping open old accounts
that never balanced,
goes on shuffling its millenniums
of quartz, granite, and basalt.
It behaves
toward the permutations of novelty—
driftwood and shipwreck, last night's
beer cans, spilt oil, the coughed-up
residue of plastic—with random
impartiality, playing catch or tag
ot touch-last like a terrier,
turning the same thing over and over,
over and over. For the ocean, nothing
is beneath consideration.
The houses
of so many mussels and periwinkles
have been abandoned here, it's hopeless
to know which to salvage. Instead
I keep a lookout for beach glass—
amber of Budweiser, chrysoprase
of Almadén and Gallo, lapis
by way of (no getting around it,
I'm afraid) Phillips'
Milk of Magnesia, with now and then a rare
translucent turquoise or blurred amethyst
of no known origin.
The process
goes on forever: they came from sand,
they go back to gravel,
along with treasuries
of Murano, the buttressed
astonishments of Chartres,
which even now are readying
for being turned over and over as gravely
and gradually as an intellect
engaged in the hazardous
redefinition of structures
no one has yet looked at.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003
Edited: Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Do you like this poem?
1 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: ocean, warning, beach, change, water, wind, night

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Beach Glass by Amy Clampitt )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Wrong thought process, Emma Connor
  2. Watching the tide, Tony Adah
  3. To My Elder Sister in Old Age..., Dr John Celes
  4. Villanelle: Trust no one even wife/husba.., T (no first name) Wignesan
  5. Sai Amore (You know honey), Alexander Galbur
  6. Senyru ' Boil ', miken newman
  7. Lilian, Cherret Leakey
  8. Power versus Power, Tony Adah
  9. Fragment, David McLansky
  10. You're Safe With Me, Michael McParland

Poem of the Day

poet Katharine Lee Bates

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. Talking Turkeys!, Benjamin Zephaniah
  3. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  4. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  5. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  6. America the Beautiful, Katharine Lee Bates
  7. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  8. All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare
  9. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  10. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]