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October 2013, vol 8, no 3

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Mark Smith


after seeing Andrew Wyeth's "On the Edge"

This is where I come to let my mind linger: on rock, near water, crashing foam and flow; any water's edge as long as it rushes on and rugged. For as long as there's been current, shallows, men seeking water, there's been a wanting to forget, to vanish into landscape.

Maybe Wyeth's study was his way: black-coated loner faceless, ragged, pondering a leap into rocky spray. There's light's unforgiving gray, splays of mist from waves, a surrender in escape's washes of blue and white; oh its shattering of shells; its permanence. And I've tried almost a lifetime to shed a worn path; forget all debt, all broken love.

But if only I could give it up, become what Wyeth brushed: a man barely above breakers alone searching froth and memory. Then I could blur the separation between waves and blood, driftwood and bone, what in the mind sinks and what in the mind floats.

Because on this shore of bramble, the sun aching in slow settle, I stop walking, thicken this flesh with salt, hang back, and listen to confluence, buoying, the breaking of human cadence.

from thinking
to not thinking…
shifting wind