Encounters


Photo by George Balazs

The God At Tillamook


China sea turtle
On the County Museum wall
The curved shell spread to oblong
Fiery light wondrous
Swallowing the eye

The brown-red strokes said fire
The black border patterns
Had nothing in them of water
They were exverted wounds
The mandala of old earth
Before the clear moon

Brands of an awful sky-god
Who as the water poured down
Scored the talisman willing a power
To fly on currents
Back to first sands
The place of fire

Promising the change to water
Though all future time
Is incident afterglow
In the reductions of Heaven
Mere fluid time buoyed
On the backs of these suppliants

Prostrated scattered
Carrying the sun
Season to season
In light or darkness
Like Osiris



Photo by Roloff Beny


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