Huge and cold, the ocean laughs and laughs
Flashing its white teeth at our
Dehydrating world. On the sand spit
Sit tattlers, turnstones and the glaucous gull
Their thousands of black and yellow clawmarks etching the beach.
Then they rise, spiral and settle again
On the nape of the Mattole
Eyes and beaks piercing the brown waves for the last
The very last of the silvers, babes
Armed with mere instinct,
Keeping to the deeper currents
Tiny bodies flashing ever faster.
Upstream, in their rude office,
The bureaucrats peck at their Apples,
And far away, in the suffocating silence of his cell,
Young Manning rides the current toward madness.