Watching the Sea Go
Thirty seconds of yellow lichen.
Thirty seconds of coil and surge,
fern and froth, thirty seconds
of salt, rock, fog, spray.
moving slowly to the left―
A door in a rock through which you could see
laved by the weedy tide.
Like filming breathing―thirty seconds
of tidal drag, fingering
the smaller stones
down the black beach―what color
was that, aquamarine?
their salmon-colored hands.
I stood and I shot them.
I stood and I watched them
right after I shot them: thirty seconds of smashed sea
while the real sea
thrashed and heaved―
They were the most boring movies ever made.
to mount them together and press play.
Thirty seconds of waves colliding.
with its open attitudes, seals
riding the swells, curved in a row
just under the water―
over and over.
Before it’s over.
Copyright @ 2014 by Dana Levin. Used with permission of the author.
About this Poem
"I was staying on a beloved part of the Northern California coast intending to write, but all I kept doing was taking thirty second videos of the sea. It seemed like such an absurd activity (the sea was right there!), but I was compelled. On the page I'd been troubling our environmental future; perhaps the videos were little stays against the End.”
Dana Levin is the author of Banana Palace (Copper Canyon Press, 2016) and Sky Burial (Copper Canyon Press, 2011), among other books. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri.
Date Published: 2014-09-11
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/watching-sea-go