awakened, startled by the enormous stillness
the great golden hymn of August gone quiet
the first chill touch of bare feet on floorboards
as wide as the forests of l850
slipping out the screen door
past deserted streets of white clapboard houses
the white edged windows wide eyed,
the gardens weary, the hostas tired,
the arch of day lilies flagging
the morning light faded, like a favorite shirt
left forgotten on the clothesline all summer,
washed out blue gray light of bay and horizon
as I slide into the chill of the harbor, paddling out
miles of sea morning moving through my arms,
my back, my mind:
the milling urgent fascinating voices of summer
washing out of my mind
the great brilliant momentum of heat and color
washing out of my mind
the last kiss of that lush abundance called August
washing out of my mind
slipping out with each slice and slide of paddle
into still salt sea
slipping ever quieter until I reach
the stillness of the cormorants
those jet black silhouettes of elegant curving necks and beaks
lining the ordered layers of granite of the monument
guarding the bay
silent dark candles on an ancient cake
all facing northeast,
all utterly still, completely quiet,
a quiet of a shared bird mind,
standing for eons under this sky
hurtling over their stillness
when I open my eyes again,
they are far behind me,
the rising morning wind gently
sending me back towards shore
where the first sailboats slip south
slicing through the faded light
Kayak i ng Fi r s t o f Sep t emb e r , Be l f as t
Bob Arledge, Bob Dawson and
Mike Marino kayaked the ten
miles across open (and very
cold) water from the mainland to
Monhegan island in a pea soup fog
arriving in time for lunch
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Monhegan Island
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