step by step,
         the heron enters
              the shallows:
erect, adagio,
          in rigid concentration:
               to stab suddenly and swallow
                    a flash of glitter.


Imprinting the sand’s domain
          of stillness and shimmer,
               its steps echo
the stamp of peace,
          as crisp as frost
               perplexed on glass
                    to window winter.


A wash of watercolor
          brushes the paper with not sky,
               but the lazuli of heaven,
a haze of reverence
         serenely floating
               the lifted frankincense
                    and air of evening.


Time, overwriting
          the dead history of ink,
               inscribes in stringent salt
the scattered shore
          of shell and elegy,
               of hull, keel, skull.
                    Read the nameless sand.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 15 Number 10, on page 37
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