january 10  2002                                                                    


to me coming from europe to live on the north american continent
the old world seems occupied
with “shoring up against ruin”  its
culture    a tilling of land    shaping it according to human hand
goes against the grain   digs deep grooves in earth’s skin  
forcing her to give
out of season

here indigenous people knew nature as culture
left no marks on earth's body

alluvion   a project honouring nature and our part played
by imitating her
learning through mimicry
paying attention by making a mark in sand
then watching sea
come in
wipe it away

at winter solstice on santa monica beach   just before sunset 
i dropped a palm frond    torn off by the wind  
onto wet sand    sprinkled pearly buttons    geometric shapes 
tucked sprig of jasmine    flaming bougainvillea blossom
into weave of palm    set down
a shiny red apple
waited for sea
to come in
sun go down
light quenched

to mark time i bite into apple                place it down again
sea slips in lacing sand
pulls back spreading buttons
sand smoothed like dough
i take another bite
someone jogs by
motorboat scuds across water
its wake rolling into waves
into shore

no one notices pearl buttons

sandpipers wade by
sickle moon rides above

next morning when i come back
only palm frond turned round by sea

ingrid rose