The Summer Glare

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The Summer Glare

 

Aboard the Pequod, Ishmael describes the

Japanese Sea as illumined by “freshets of effulgences”

or overflowing streams of brilliant light.

Did he, while in Nantucket, not experience

what we, in Gloucester, find daily in our summer sky?

 

Here, where the ocean cleanses the air and

allows the sun to reach us without filter;

where most summer days produce an explosion

of light that washes out the brilliant colors

around us and makes us squint to get around town;

 

Where shadows are not soft and moody, but

are stark and sharp, and walking down a flight

of outside stairs requires most careful placement

of our feet, and where we learn to recognize

people and places by their silhouettes,

 

and where sun and sand and sea glare so that we

sense the beach, rather than see it, like actors

looking past the footlights to an unseen audience,

and where patterns in the sand go unnoticed

as we walk the shore into the cauldron’s fearsome light.

 

It’s as if we cannot be trusted with

the airs of summer; that we must be

protected from the magnificence around us

lest we succumb to this abundance of beauty

if we should see all that is within the glare.

 

© Marty Luster 2012

 

 

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