Sand Sculptor at Jones Beach

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Saving early poetry here

Submitted: May 22, 2018

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Submitted: May 22, 2018

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Sand Sculptor At Jones Beach

By Alexander Guinevere Kern

 

Creation, for her, is a sanctified insanity,

Confined this day by a thick, tempera sky.

Clouds stutter across the blue walls --

Desultory attempts to block light.

 

She prefers a chaotic world. Expression

Provokes her mind's gray abeyance. It

Unlooses ideas singly. They fragment, dislodge

And ascend to her conscious, fragile as seaweed.

 

Foten earth's elements resist the rational,

And like the mad, are suffused with 

Clairvoyance. She kneels upon a buffed

Scab of beach. "Notice," it whispers to her,

"See - form locked within. A shape

Unborn, requiring human touch

For the mergence with Real." Oh, hubris!

 

Carving sand to sensory instructions,

She has become Deity. To her right

The baptismal font of ocean crimps lips

To white froth, spreading a watery scarf

Over the shoreline. "Doesn't that woman,

It murmurs, "have anything constructive to do?"

 

Hauling back the tide, stone-nicked

Tattered. It hates this Thinker, altering

Set states to random Art. Green-skinned

Bowl of Oceanid greedily digests

The shore's border, ruminates absently

On foam, refuse, bellied up fish

Husks, gum wrappers, punctured rafts.

 

Shark hungry, a mouth loving to eat and

Sanely obeying ancient orders.

It attempts to devour the echoing

Images clouds lay over the waves,

Where gull reflections bobble, like a white

Mobile. Strung together by unseen

Hand, by silent agreement

Hoving to the pattern planned.

 

Overhead, sun irons the sculptor's back.

Crouched, she sweats to a sheen.

Her sensitive fingers, live divining rods,

Ferret out shell-shards, wood-chips, coke-caps, debris.

 

Hunting outline, sifting for the face,

Sand abrades her knees, scratches

Inside her wet suit, grit itches under

Her Nails. Licking her lips, she tastes salt.

 

A noble profile emerges. Cupping

The sand-face like a cherished

Child, her knuckles chisel cheekbones,

Side of her pinky finger lids an eye.

 

Cupid curls overlap, layer

Upon layer, calyx-like. Drawing

Out of the sand like a poultice

The contours of a man.

 

New York accents surround her.

They snarl in the breeze and drift upwards, 

Let go like a child's imagination.

People regard her idly, toe-tapping

To the clashing strains of boom boxes,

Greased and posed in a move-still

Alignment, unfocussed by the haze.

 

Sunlight warps their gold adornments.

Into winking fiends. She observes

The ray's way of abstracting a discarded

Beer can into a chalice, hammered in

Silver, so can the craftsman render

Distinction from the mundane.

 

To her competent violence, the sand

Yields shoulders, torso, legs arms, 

Achieving, its own unique persona.

Sculpture and artisan are equal and valid now, 

Like God in the finger-press with Adam.

 

Time suspends, impotent, for this one moment

Incapable of harm. Yet the Cosmos

Thunders incisors in wait. Smug and 

Assured that art and all men must

Succumb to the spin

 

. . .  that forces birth

And forces death. 

 

 . . . Forces birth

And forces death. 

 

Revolving tentacles hooking

Everything in with the Undertow

(The Shiva Subconscious)

Where it can mull, mull, mull

Over the remnants of an existence.

 

Eagerly disassembling lives for scrutiny, 

For Source has no life of Its own. Already

Her hand-cast man gives in 

To the chipping wind, relinquishing

Fingers, top-of-nose, toes - a soccer ball

Smacks claggy sand, effaces a knee.

 

Eden unending, a madman's dream, she thinks.

Dying promotes the savoring, 

Flesh will breed, while the artist

Bleeds, creates, resists the merciless

Tug of tides and devolution.

 

"You are crazy, kid,” insisted her parents,

 The night she asked, 

"Do the hills catch fire when the sun sets

Behind them?" She always saw things

Differently. Her parents gave no answer, 

Smiling to each other over her head.

 

Instead, they molded her mind and body

Of the sand of tradition, and without

Apparent gift for craft, practiced

Love upon the frail, blanched body.

 

It made no difference; she would unmold,

The edges blur; she would not, could not

Be as the others. Questions flowed

With her blood, seeking solutions.

 

Her sculpture succombs to three Elements.

Earth . . . wind . . . air.

Of what substance am I made?

Wonders One who made all things.

 

It is ripening dusk at Jones Beach.

She watches the sun jewel the waves, 

Watches shadows work dark lace

Over the surface of the water.

 

Nature sets like a lord there.

She has nothing to show of her

Rebellious spell of creation. The sun

Becomes a red wink over her shoulder

As she turns toward home.

 

She does not see it flickering

In its descent on the night’s face

Over the mountains. 

She grieves the eroded Human Form,

Made from her hands, Its sandy death.

 

She does not see

That as the sun sets behind them

The hills catch fire.

 

~copyright 1985


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