By Amy Clampitt
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.
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
or touch-last like a terrier,
turning the same thing over and over,
over and over. For the ocean, nothing
is beneath consideration.
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.
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.
I had intended to take care of some shopping chores, but a succession of county and state text messages and e-mails on a very dark and rainy morning convinced me to stay indoors: an all-day severe thunderstorm watch, then a tornado watch, quickly followed by two flash flood warnings, along with alerts about overturned trucks, a pair of metro buses that collided, roads closed because of car accidents, etc. I'm not even sure what brought this on, because I'd read that Tropical Storm Nicole dissipated after causing trouble in the Caribbean; the worst of what hit us seems to have come from the west. Our sump pump had a busier day than I did. At least it's supposed to be gorgeous over the weekend -- cool and partly cloudy -- since we have plans to spend most of the both days outdoors!
Since I was in the house, I did some cleaning, including going through a big pile of mail consisting mostly of greeting cards sent to me unsolicited by various organizations wanting my money. I never know what to do with these things -- hate the idea of throwing them out/recycling them but don't want to encourage the organizations to keep sending them by making them useful. Turns out that after a couple of years of letting these things pile up, I have more than 100 cards! So here's my quasi-green, money-saving plan for holiday cards this year: instead of ordering cards, everyone will get a brand-new greeting card from some organization or other. Some of them may end up being inappropriate for Christmas/Chanukah (can I insert "Jesus's" between a "Happy" and "Birthday"?), but it means I can afford to send cards to everyone who sends me one and no additional trees will be harmed in the production of my holiday greetings!
Thursday has become a big nostalgic TV evening because I have to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation to review (this week it's "The Pegasus," one of my favorite Riker episodes), then $%#& My Dad Says (which practically counts as Star Trek since it's Shatner), then Nikita (which is still not as good as the Peta Wilson show, but still holding my interest and producing lots of interesting women, which is really all I ask...and I loved Roy Dupuis but I think I like Shane West's more defiant version of Michael better, though I really miss Alberta Watson's Madeline -- Amanda just doesn't cut it). I didn't take many pics of their glass at the Renfaire, but here are some photos from Art of Fire during Montgomery County Heritage Days in June:
Vases and a lizard.
A fire-glazed vase up close.
The exterior decorations of kaleidoscopes, shaped like lighthouses...
...and the inside of one of them.
One of the cats asleep among the witch balls and vases.
A glass heart.
A frog paperweight.
And a goblet in process.