A vagueness comes over everything, as though proving color and contour alike dispensable: the lighthouse extinct, the islands’ spruce-tips drunk up like milk in the universal emulsion; houses reverting into the lost and forgotten; granite subsumed, a rumor in a mumble of ocean. Tactile definition, however, has not been totally banished: hanging tassel by tassel, panicled foxtail and needlegrass, dropseed, furred hawkweed, and last season’s rose-hips are vested in silenced chimes of the finest, clearest sea-crystal. Opacity opens up rooms, a showcase for the hueless moonflower corolla, as Georgia O’Keefe might have seen it, of foghorns; the nodding campanula of bell buoys; the ticking, linear filigree of bird voices.
From The Collected Poems of Amy Clampitt, published by Alfred A. Knopf. Copyright © 1997. Used with permission from the Estate of Amy Clampitt.