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Sinkyone, dawn and dusk 

then

heard last night on the radio --
perfect's the enemy
of the good.

now

these waves --
lit by the day's first light --
break in patterned rows
four brown pelicans
along the swell, coasting north --
indelible -- propelled by each
advancing face --
these gulls wheel and race.

grey sky off shore --
a cold wind comes --
fingers are numb.
glaucous-winged gulls
in the troughs of the waves
slip up the curling water --
breaking, too,
in rhymed departures

here

two elk lock antlers in the dusk,
then cross the stream to climb the beach
stand beneath the pearling sky
and look to the sea.

the old hills long for
smoke and laughter and
pleasant offers in
lilting tongues --
we want salmon swimming in our baskets --
poems hauled from the netted deep --
tree lupine not crushed beneath
a thoughtless wheel.
we only want
what we know is real.

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  • then heard last night on the radio --...

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Monte Merrick

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