h a r o l d    b o w e s

At the End of a Jetty in Port Townsend


The half moon is twisted a quarter turn to the left out there above the bay. When symbols impinge this vividly on reality, watch out.

What was I thinking? A lone man should take care to avoid walking to the end of a jetty, particularly on a night with the full moon, out there a seeming mile, there above the black water.

The moon is making that white path on the waves it makes on a night like this, wider below the moon, becoming more and more narrow as it approaches the jetty where I, the lone man, stand. Each wave in its path is a sparkle on the black expanse.

That white path appears to be nothing less than a Champagne flute. It has that shape.

Tomorrow in the daylight, if the water were clear, clearer than it will ever be, as clear as Champagne, I could look straight down and see what? Dead bodies? No. A stack of discarded possessions?

Yes, I would see a mound of discarded possessions, a lot of things, each one different, yet as alike as empty oyster shells, provoking a profound sadness and symbolizing lost opportunities, and they would be numerous, and I won’t list them here.



HAROLD BOWES's poems have appeared in Snow Monkey, elimae, Taint, Failbetter, Eleven Bulls, Pig Iron Malt, and other places. He received a Pushcart nomination from Failbetter for 2003. Ravenna Press published his book "If Nothing Else" in 2004. (The 2005 year was a quiet one.) Harold also edits Alba, an ezine dedicated to short poems.