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  • Louis Faber

"Geography" and "Santa Cruz Wharf, September"



People of the mountain

are quiet, some say taciturn

preferring to listen for the cry

of the eagle, wind whistling

its familiar tune through a pass

snow rent from the face

tearing down in a crystalline cloud.

People of the shore

merge with the song

of the waves, feel its tempo

punctuated by the bark

of the whale, the horn

anchored in the harbor,

the tavern disgorging

its nightly catch into the streets.

People of the city

stare at the bleakness

of the stone monolith

torn from the earth

white tipped peaks barren,

and the endless wash

of the sea, licking

at land and retreating

an ill-trained pup

but mostly at the ground

lest it slide from beneath them.


"Santa Cruz Wharf, September"

The quieter you become

the more you can hear.

-- Baba Ram Dass

Orion lies over the wharf

staring at the moon, dangling

like an unyielding eye, barring sleep

while below the waves wash

onto the shore, licking the pilings

and tasting the sand, a calming roar

broken only by the barking

of the harbor seals.

It is not a night for hunting

the bear has fled over the horizon

preparing for the coming winter

and the hunter tires from the chase.

A gull nips at his heels, and plunges

back into the swells, he must be

content with the odd fish and scraps

from the strange ones who mass

on the wharf each day and retreat by night

until there is only the hunter

and the goddess and two young men

curled into the sand.

I stand on the balcony

and stare at the hunter

wishing that sleep would come,

that the white eye would blink,

but the waves wash in

and the harbor seals bark

and the stars beat

a slow retreat.


Louis Faber’s work has previously appeared in Atlanta Review, The Poet, Glimpse, Rattle, Cold Mountain Review, Eureka Literary Magazine, Borderlands: the Texas Poetry Review, Midnight Mind, Pearl, Midstream, European Judaism, The South Carolina Review and Worcester Review, among many others, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. A book of poetry, The Right to Depart, was published by Plain View Press.

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